|Peter Wagner, still a believer in print|
"Publishers looking to reboot their markets following the pandemic need to recognize the retail sector is no longer their best revenue source," Wagner starts his latest column for state newspaper associations.
His object example is the late, lamented Warroad Pioneer of northern Minnesota, which died last year and was memorialized in The New York Times, The Rural Blog (including this commentary) and now Reader’s Digest. Wagner consulted publisher Rebecca Golden 21 years ago, and knows the market.
Wagner maintains his proven belief in special projects and sections, and gives examples, saying they "have been well received and supported by local-minded businesses that appreciate sections that promote the history, fun and value of living in their town. . . . So, take a big breath and put a smile on your face. There continues to be a strong future for community papers. We simply need to direct our attention to the advertisers that believe in the community and the value of the hometown paper. It will require hard work and fresh thinking, but the survival of the printed paper is well worth the effort."