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Community newspapers find meaning, make money

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By Harold Morgon

Professionally I grew up with newspapers, though not the dominant daily in the large market. (“Large” markets for me mean Oklahoma City and Albuquerque.)
I only worked for the big guy once, a brief stint with the Daily Oklahoman. My experience started with the old Albuquerque News, a weekly shopper with real editorial content. For the publishing company I started as janitor and served in production, sales and administration.
My affection goes to community newspapers, which is fortunate since community newspapers print this column. Fellow columnist Sherry Robinson and I believe that community papers have a valuable role doing things too small scale to interest the big papers.
Community newspapers serve small communities, not big cities. A report in the May-June issue of the Columbia Journalism Review (www.cjr.org/magazine) is good to read. Community papers are buying others now that prices have dropped.
“In small towns, papers have loyal audiences and less competition among advertisers,” the CJR report said. “The demographics are right, which basically means the residents are old — less interested in getting news from Gawker and more interested in getting it off the front porch.


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