Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Outgoing New York Times CEO Mark Thompson thinks there won’t be a print edition in 20 years
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
March 18, 2009, 7:07 a.m.

Owens: “The imperative of localism”

For the past several years I’ve had a nagging suspicion that it would be the small community newspapers that would survive the bloodbath that is consuming our major metros, because they never lost focus of what we’ve recently taken to calling hyperlocalism. Howard Owens, late of Gatehouse, now of The Batavian, does an excellent job of attaching a why to that notion in an epic post that focuses first on what’s been lost at the metros:

Once people could no longer pick up the local gazette and find out who was visiting from California and when Helen Carter was going to sell her famous peach pies, the papers became less relevant to their lives.

Without that relevancy, society and democracy suffered. People became not only less informed, but less involved in their communities.

Consider that 57 percent of Americans say that if their local newspaper went away, both online and in print, they wouldn’t miss it and it wouldn’t hurt the civic life of their towns…

There is a nexus, I believe, between readership declines and less engaged communities that cannot be blamed entirely on the rise of radio and television nor on changes in urban-to-suburban lifestyles.

I recommend reading the whole post at Owens’ blog.

POSTED     March 18, 2009, 7:07 a.m.
Show comments  
Show tags
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Outgoing New York Times CEO Mark Thompson thinks there won’t be a print edition in 20 years
Also, the Times now reaches about half of American millennials.
How do you run a fun membership drive in sad pandemic times? Maximum Fun has some ideas
Plus: What Spotify wants premium advertising to sound like, claims of systemic racism at PRX, BBC pushes for podcast audiences in Africa, and can Serial stay special?
People are using Facebook and Instagram as search engines. During a pandemic, that’s dangerous.
Data voids on social networks are spreading misinformation and causing real world harm. Here are some ideas on how to fix the problem.