Community newspapers

Pastor Bill Meadows

February 24, 2013

Alive and well, community newspapers continue to thrive

A popular thing to parrot these days is that print – newspapers in particular – is dying.

People who repeat such nonsense are dazzled by the modern technology of tablets, smartphones and the like. Those and other devices that allow the nearly instantaneous transmission of news are fantastic, to be sure, but they certainly have not signaled the demise of newspapers.

Much of the dire predictions about print, including a prominent report on TV’s “60 Minutes” a while back, fail to make a distinction about newspapers. For every metropolitan daily that cuts back, there are community newspapers being born.

Across the country, well established newspapers in smaller communities, like this one, are alive and well.

Small-town newspapers thrive because people want to read about the actions of their local officials and various items from ball games to birth announcements to ads that are available nowhere else, or if they are, not presented by professional journalists backed by decades of the community’s trust.

A 2011 survey found that 74 percent of people in small communities read their hometown paper each week, spending nearly 40 minutes with it and then sharing it with two or more people. It’s clear that when it comes to community newspapers, much like Mark Twain, their death was greatly exaggerated.

Distributed by the W.Va. Press Association