We're not dead yet, boss. Well-run community papers will flourish.
When I am able to get out and meet people, it amazes me how many them read our community newspapers.
As the size of the papers have continued to shrink over the years, one can't help but wonder about their future. Kids tell me they don't want to receive a paper other than through their "in box." We have a problem - or perhaps, an opportunity. On the other side of all of this logic, is Warren Buffet. Warren mistakenly bought a company called Berkshire Hathaway. They made the best dress shirts ever. He turned the company towards insurance, and now a share in the company is worth $140,000. They have never paid a dividend and they have never split the shares. He is known as one of the wisest investors in North America. I digress.
Warren has been buying community newspapers. To explain this, he said; "Newspapers continue to reign supreme in the delivery of local news. If you want to know what is going on in your town - whether the news is about the mayor or taxes or high school football, there is no substitute for a local newspaper that is doing its job."
Doing the job means not becoming the public relations department for local government, police, or other public servants (even if they hire your publisher or become your biggest advertiser).
Buffet also said; "Wherever there is a persuasive sense of community, a paper that serves the special informational needs of that community will remain indispensable to a significant proportion of its residents." The problem is making it viable.
So I guess if Buffet is right, community newspapers need rationalization, management, and a bridge to the new world. Just saying.....
@ Copyright 2013