Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Both Lancaster dailies, in Ohio and Pennsylvania, among Editor & Publisher's '10 that do it right'

Only two U.S. daily newspapers have "Lancaster" in their name, both serve many rural communities, and both are on Editor & Publisher magazine's annual list of "10 That Do It Right," a group of newspapers "shattering the perception that this is a slow-moving dinosaur of an industry that refuses to adapt to rising needs and fresh opportunities," the magazine says. "This is never a '10 Best' list, thankfully, but rather a tip of the hat to a handful of news-papers of widely varying size that have made great strides, and can serve as a model, in one or more important areas: technology, marketing, reporting, design, online, photography, community awareness, diversity, advertising, even blogging and social networking." E&P says of the Lancaster papers:

"The Lancaster (Pa.) New Era was doing something right long before the past year. It won state awards, and was the rare afternoon daily with almost as much circulation as its morning counterpart. But the New Era, founded in 1877, received national attention when its coverage of last October's tragic shootings of five Amish schoolgirls won honors including the Pulliam prize and the Religion Communicators Council's Wilbur Award." Its circulation is 41,306; Lancaster's 2000 population was 56,348, the county's 470,658.

"Lancaster, Ohio, pop. 35,335, won't ever be confused with Manhattan. Columbus is the nearest big city, about 35 minutes away. Go north, says Lancaster Eagle-Gazette Publisher Rick Szabrak, and you're in new suburbia. Go south, and you're in farmland. So when Managing Editor Antoinette Taylor-Thomas is interviewing any young person — especially a candidate of color — she stays 'blatantly honest' about homey Lancaster, where racial and ethnic minorities make up just 5.3 percent of the community." The Gannett Co. Inc. paper's circulation is 13,166. (Details on E&P's subscription-only Web site)

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