Monday, May 18, 2009

The new and (maybe) prospering community newspapers

Somewhere in this country almost every day a publisher, editor or writer for a community newspaper tells us they are doing well in the face of the meltdown of the big corporate dailies.

Tracking this for some months, I've concluded that may be true in small communities where the publisher and the editor and the writer are living in the town and invested there.

Corporate chains of weeklies and small dailies aren't having the same success, I sense, because they are too removed from the communities. Their local hires may stay around for a couple of years but aren't there to stay. It shows in the product and in the bottom line.

That's just a superficial judgment based on what I've seen at a glance. If there proves to be any reader interest, I'll take a harder look at this in coming weeks.

For now I would like to point you to a pair of columns in publications that call themselves local newspapers but have the appearance of on-line local papers. I can't be sure because I'm not there to check it out.

Here are the links to their websites and in each case a column about this issue. You may have to paste them into your browser to get there.

First from the publication serving Opelika and Auburn, Alabama:

And second from a publication serving the reaches of agricultural land and communities along I-5 from Justine to Santa Nella in California:

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