Latest Reformer column explores collapse of local news

PHOTO: Jasperdo, Flickr CC-BY-NC-SA

The Minnesota Reformer published my latest column today, this one about the collapse of local newspapers.

Last week the International Falls Daily Journal announced it would cease publication later this month. This comes after other small weeklies have closed while other papers have either merged or reduced publication. It’s not just happening here, but across America.

I explore this problem, detailing why this is such an acute problem for rural communities like many of those here in northern Minnesota.

There are examples of small papers making it work, staying alive and relevant in these changing times. But there can be no understating the gaps in coverage for local city councils, school boards and business dealings in many communities, including most in rural areas.

The piece is called “If a tree falls and there was no story about it in the paper, did it happen?



  1. Jacqueline says

    I have been surprised at the lack of comments on this topic. I have been concerned for several years about local newspapers disappearing . Every time I read about one folding up, no matter where, it alarms me .
    Even though reporting in our local paper has slipped considerably in the past years, it is still the main resource for city council, school board, county board meetings, and also local events.
    I worry all the time about smaller papers being taken over by larger corporations , or done away with altogether. The opinion pages are being filled with canned articles , far too often with a rightward dishonest slant, rather than from citizens.
    Although the Herald -Review is a far cry from the publication it once was, it is a vital service to our community. I cross my fingers the day will not come when that operation will fall by the wayside, too.

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