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The Survival of Community Newspapers: Can Local Newspapers Compete?

Steve Scher
11/24/2008 at 9:00 a.m.

We start the hour with live anchored coverage of President–elect Barack Obama's press conference, from NPR news.

Then, large metro papers are in trouble. An American Press Institute conference found that the industry is at full–blown crisis stage. Community weeklies, however, are weathering the downturn. A survey of small market papers found that 2008 was a great year for readership and advertising. Why are community papers different? How does the Internet shape these papers and their audience? What lesson can big papers learn from smaller ones? The state of community newspapers, today on Weekday.


Scott Wilson is the publisher of the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader, an independent community paper serving the Olympic Peninsula.

Brian Steffens is the executive director of the National Newspaper Association which recently completed a survey of community newspapers.

Patrick Robinson is the director of New Media for Robinson Newspapers. They publish papers such as the Ballard News–Tribune and the West Seattle Herald. They're updating their online component for better interactivity.

Amber Campbell writes and edits the Rainier Valley Post; an online blog covering issues relevant to the local community.

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