Category - Community Journalism

How newspapers can set themselves apart in a crowded information market

Last month’s blogpost was a warning that the attack on journalism by certain actors on the public stage is having an effect on community newspapers, and that social media are driving readers to spend more time with national news than with local news. How can community papers can adapt to this radically changed news landscape?

Distrust of national media may affect the credibility of local newspapers

Trust in “the mass media, such as newspapers, TV and radio” in polls taken by the Gallup Organization was at 32 percent last year, the lowest ever – and was significantly lower than the 40 percent recorded in 2015. Rural newspapers have often presumed that such trends don’t affect them, because they’re in closer touch with smaller

The readers we have vs. the readers we want: a circulation dilemma

One of the dilemmas faced by any medium is the extent to which journalists give readers what they want – no matter what that is. So do we cater to the needs of the readers we have, or do we try to include content that reaches the readers we want?  And if we do that,

What you’re missing when you try to sell ads to national chains

You’ve tried to sell advertising to the manager of the store that’s a part of a national or regional chain. And you’ve been told, “I don’t make those advertising decisions here.  I’ll give you the contact information for our regional office.”  You emailed and you called, but you either got no reply at all or

Ideas and resources for localizing important stories

The Rural Blog has had a big basket of interesting and useful stories recently. Let’s see how many we can cram into one column. How much does a renter need to earn in your county to afford a two-bedroom apartment there? The national average is $20.30 an hour. The Washington Post broke it down by

What is a ‘newspaper of general circulation’?

Folks in the newspaper business, as well as the public sector, may often come across the term “Newspaper of General Circulation.” It sounds official enough, but what does it really mean? By law, certain legal notices are required to be published in a “Newspaper of General Circulation.” These may include (but are certainly not limited

“Do you think newspapers are endangered?” A community journalism perspective

So what if someone asks:  “Do you think animals are endangered?” There’s literally no answer to that.  We know that mountain gorillas, elephants, rhinos and tigers are critically endangered and we may well see their extinction in our lifetime. But other animals exist in abundance – rats, rabbits, dogs, deer and hundreds of others. And

Out-of-town marketers not as effective as local newspapers

While we uphold a tradition of excellence in news coverage as Grayson County’s oldest newspaper, we are also vested in offering effective marketing and advertising expertise. As the Internet and social media grow, a new advertising opportunity seems to pop up every day. Small businesses, on limited budgets, can easily be overwhelmed with a rush

Why community journalism endured when the bottom fell out

To my way of thinking, community newspapers, the heartbeat of American journalism, have been the saving grace, the silver lining of an otherwise volatile media landscape after the bottom fell out in ’08. Community papers endured, weathered, survived — and in many cases thrived. Don’t you wonder, why is that? What are the community newspapers doing

A suggested prayer to open government meetings

Editor’s note: Recently the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that it is permissible to open a government meeting with prayer. North Dakota journalist Allan Burke has written the prayer all journalists wish they would pray. Our thanks to Ken Blum of Black Inklings for alerting us to this column. Lord, may this

Billionaire invests in community journalism

“In towns and cities where there is a strong sense of community, there is no more important institution than the local paper.” The speaker was not a journalist – it is billionaire Warren Buffet, who just invested an additional $142 million to purchase newspapers. We are all tired of hearing that “print is dead” and

Survey says: Readers love their community newspapers

So now the readers of NNA’s latest survey know what any community journalists have always known: Our readers think we’re doing a good job and almost three-quarters of them read us regularly. What other industry can make such claims? Three-quarters of the people who live in towns served by community papers don’t shop regularly at