Billy Coleburn, editor of the weekly Courier-Record in Blackstone, Va., told Knolle, "Print is our lifeblood. For seven full-time employees, we rock 'n' roll down here." The Courier-Record has a circulation of 6,100, more than twice that of the town's population of 3,000. Heather Goodwin Henline, publisher of The Inter-Mountain in Elkins, W.Va., circulation 8,000, says likewise: "I think if you ask any newspaper, print still remains the lion's share of revenue."
But when it comes to rural areas, readers always want news about the community, something "only local news organizations can provide," Knolle writes. Henline told Knolle, "Perhaps our greatest advantage is we have content no one else does. We are at local sporting events. Little League coverage is vital content. Bigger competitors rarely have placed a significant value on such a hyper-local approach."
Doug Caldwell, publisher of the Petoskey News-Review in Michigan, told Knolle, "Our readership recognizes the value of the local newspaper. We are the cheerleader, guardian and watchdog all rolled into one. We monitor the pulse of the community and focus on local news stories of interest—not what we want, but what are readers want in their community newspapers."
Heline had similar sentiments, telling Knolle, "Newspapers are alive and well. We are relevant and vital to the communities we serve. Our future is paved with a path of services that continue to life and enhance the communities we serve and to provide the stories no one else can tell. Those are our stories, our people, our communities, our commitment. Ultimately, we have not abandoned them and I don't believe our readership will abandon us." (Read more)