Drawing lines between corporate and local news

“Media insiders have understood for decades that newspapers weren’t dying — they were being murdered. Now we’re finally saying it out loud.”

We’re getting better at explaining just how catastrophic the corporate takeover of newspapers in America has been. Media insiders have understood for decades that newspapers weren’t dying — they were being murdered. Now we’re finally saying it out loud, and in ways that make sense to the general public. It’s a significant improvement from sounding like (or even believing) we’re all on borrowed time.

It’s great that we’re able to better convey this to news consumers and advertising partners or donors. But does it matter? Is it too late? What will the impact of this messaging look like?

Well, within the news business, it looks like individual reinvestment. Expats from corporate outlets buying small, community newspapers, or whole chains thereof. Start-ups in news deserts — or, more specifically, start-ups that target communities that have never been well served by legacy publications. Seasoned reporters jumping aboard online outlets with local focus and national funding support. And, perhaps most critically, collaboration across these formats where there once was competition — a tug of war that was waged by journalists but also only perceived by those journalists, not the communities they served. Iron sharpens iron and competition for scoops can be great, yes, but it’s almost always been the opposite in recent years as outlets scrambled to do more online with fewer journalists.

As a community paper publisher in a rural area, I’ve spent years combatting the perception that small pubs and local journalists are somehow lesser than the big guys. On the contrary, they are the builders of trust at grassroots levels, paving the way for a renewed appreciation for quality journalism.

Tony Baranowski is the director of local media for Times Citizen Communications in Iowa Falls, Iowa.

We’re getting better at explaining just how catastrophic the corporate takeover of newspapers in America has been. Media insiders have understood for decades that newspapers weren’t dying — they were being murdered. Now we’re finally saying it out loud, and in ways that make sense to the general public. It’s a significant improvement from sounding like (or even believing) we’re all on borrowed time.

It’s great that we’re able to better convey this to news consumers and advertising partners or donors. But does it matter? Is it too late? What will the impact of this messaging look like?

Well, within the news business, it looks like individual reinvestment. Expats from corporate outlets buying small, community newspapers, or whole chains thereof. Start-ups in news deserts — or, more specifically, start-ups that target communities that have never been well served by legacy publications. Seasoned reporters jumping aboard online outlets with local focus and national funding support. And, perhaps most critically, collaboration across these formats where there once was competition — a tug of war that was waged by journalists but also only perceived by those journalists, not the communities they served. Iron sharpens iron and competition for scoops can be great, yes, but it’s almost always been the opposite in recent years as outlets scrambled to do more online with fewer journalists.

As a community paper publisher in a rural area, I’ve spent years combatting the perception that small pubs and local journalists are somehow lesser than the big guys. On the contrary, they are the builders of trust at grassroots levels, paving the way for a renewed appreciation for quality journalism.

Tony Baranowski is the director of local media for Times Citizen Communications in Iowa Falls, Iowa.

Julia Munslow

Natalia Viana

Victor Pickard

Amara Aguilar

Zizi Papacharissi

Cindy Royal

Anita Varma

S. Mitra Kalita

Tony Baranowski

Larry Ryckman

Jody Brannon

Kerri Hoffman

John Davidow

Sarah Marshall

Tamar Charney

Stephen Fowler

Gordon Crovitz

Raney Aronson-Rath

Joni Deutsch

Andrew Freedman

Amy Schmitz Weiss

Jennifer Brandel

Christina Shih

Daniel Eilemberg

Cherian George

Michael W. Wagner

Mike Rispoli

Millie Tran

Mandy Jenkins

Catalina Albeanu

Gonzalo del Peon

Jennifer Coogan

Jonas Kaiser

Richard Tofel

Joshua P. Darr

James Green

Juleyka Lantigua

Joe Amditis

Mario García

Cristina Tardáguila

Ståle Grut

Kristen Muller

Whitney Phillips

Burt Herman

Moreno Cruz Osório

Robert Hernandez

Meena Thiruvengadam

Paul Cheung

David Skok

Jessica Clark

Jesenia De Moya Correa

Errin Haines

Jesse Holcomb

Kathleen Searles & Rebekah Trumble

An Xiao Mina

Matt DeRienzo

j. Siguru Wahutu

Francesco Zaffarano

Gabe Schneider

Eric Nuzum

Alice Antheaume

Anika Anand

Stefanie Murray

Chase Davis

David Cohn

Tom Trewinnard

Parker Molloy

Candace Amos

Anthony Nadler

Matt Karolian

Christoph Mergerson

Julia Angwin

Don Day

Matthew Pressman

Rachel Glickhouse

Izabella Kaminska

Nikki Usher

Brian Moritz

Sam Guzik

Mary Walter-Brown

Shalabh Upadhyay

Laxmi Parthasarathy

Shannon McGregor & Carolyn Schmitt

Wilson Liévano

Kristen Jeffers

Joanne McNeil

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

A.J. Bauer

Joy Mayer

Janelle Salanga

Chicas Poderosas

Sarah Stonbely

Jim Friedlich

Melody Kramer

Kendra Pierre-Louis

Simon Allison

Simon Galperin

Megan McCarthy

Ariel Zirulnick

Doris Truong