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E&P: Smaller newspapers thriving

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by RedCanuck, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    Not sure if this is a D_B, if so, my apologies. With all the talk of suffering in this industry, and it is out there for sure, this seemed like a positive to me. I always believed with the conglomeration on the larger scale that a market could be carved out for truly strong local news. Maybe it's a blue print for where the print form has to go.

  2. NightOwl

    NightOwl Guest

    No surprise there. Newspapers are cash cows, and always have been. At least when they are privately owned -- singularly or in small groups.

    Corporate ownership, that's a mess. I look forward to newspapers going private again, and maybe it will trigger a domino effect.

    Not Sam Zell-private, though. He's a mess of his own.
  3. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Interesting article, but here is the crux of it:

    Too many of these small papers focus on the profiles of the crossing guards in lieu of real news. When I worked at a small paper there were several stories that we didn't pursue simply because the publisher didn't want to get angry phone calls.

    Yes, it may be good for the bottom line to operate like that, but it's not journalism. Real journalism in this country was established on the principle that sometimes we must give the public a bitter pill of truth to swallow.
  4. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I read it fast and may have missed it, but is there a part where the "thriving" little papers are adding newsroom staff?
  5. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    I'm sure it's there...Somewhere around the part about the thriving little papers and giving raises.
  6. derwood

    derwood Active Member

    What's more, you can't do it on the cheap, says Jon K. Rust, publisher of the Southeast Missourian in Cape Girardeau, Mo., and co-president of Rust Communications' 18 dailies and more than 30 weeklies: "We make significant emphasis on quality local journalism, and we definitely believe that investing in local journalism is absolutely imperative to our success."
  7. BRoth

    BRoth Member

    I like this part:

    "At the most successful small-market papers, the publishers, the editors, and even the reporters don't move around that much. News Media Inc. goes a little farther. Its general hiring philosophy is to strive to get locals from whatever business background -- and teach them how to run their hometown paper."

    Who needs trained journalists anyway. Joe Smith, who's lived down the street from Little Billy for years, knows all about the community. Give him a reporter's notebook and fire away!
  8. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    I agree with the lack of journalism, Cadet, but it's amazing how lemming-like some readers are (I despise implying that some readers aren't very sharp, but a stop at this particular publication didn't help the cause).

    The paper where I worked was little more than police and ambulance chasers. News? Not if it didn't happen in the pearly gates of certain areas. It was a family-owned ... father passed the paper down to one son, another was a lawyer for the injured (oh wait ... maybe THAT's why the reporters were turned into little more than coming out to write 20-inch stories on auto wrecks) and I know of one story that was spiked because the slimeball was friendly with the publisher.

    The paper claimed to be thriving, and got a story from the Wall Street Journal on its penetration in circulation. Not surprisingly, when a house ad was needed years later, what were they running?

    Of course, they were so healthy, that less than 90 days after I left for my next paper, the publisher slashed a handful of jobs he couldn't spare in a very lean newsroom.
  9. BRoth

    BRoth Member

    Here's a question (but feels like rambling, so forgive me if it's incoherent).

    If a smaller newspaper generally has a smaller budget and a smaller staff, but pays about the same for their low-entry writers, would they be able to save more money than bigger metro papers when they lay people off?

    I realize they have to stay within their means, but we know that no papers are not subject to lay offs and other cuts, so is it possible that it would mean more financially for smaller papers who may work with less than larger ones?

    I think I'm done with that. Forgive me.
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