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Plotting A Route For Local Newspapers

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If you want to know what’s happening in the world, now is the best possible time to be alive. A few taps of your fingers (or a short question to your smart speaker) can lead to you being bombarded with information, much of it true.

News, analysis, spin and opinion from across the country and around the world are easier to find than ever. But what about news from your own community?

Many local newspapers are struggling to stay profitable. And many others are closing.

Source for the chart data

But not all the woes of local news are the fault of the internet. Some newspaper owners are trying to squeeze dollars wherever they can. After a round of staff cuts, the Denver Post published a stinging editorial about its owner:

The cuts, backed by our owner, the New York City hedge fund Alden Global Capital, also are a mystery, if you look at them from the point of view of those of us intent on running a serious news operation befitting the city that bears our name. Media experts locally and nationally question why our future looks so bleak, as many newspapers still enjoy double-digit profits and our management reported solid profits as recently as last year.

We call for action. Consider this editorial and this Sunday’s Perspective offerings a plea to Alden — owner of Digital First Media, one of the largest newspaper chains in the country — to rethink its business strategy across all its newspaper holdings. Consider this also a signal to our community and civic leaders that they ought to demand better. Denver deserves a newspaper owner who supports its newsroom. If Alden isn’t willing to do good journalism here, it should sell The Post to owners who will.

Local news is essential for vital communities. What future does it have?


Rick Edmonds, Media business analyst, the Poynter Institute; @RickEdmonds

Tim Grieve, Vice president of news, McClatchy; @timgrieve

Michelle Holmes, Vice president of content, Alabama Media Group; @mlh_holmes

Neil Chase, Executive editor, The Mercury News and the East Bay Times; @chaseneil

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

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