Look at what’s happening in, and to, your local newspaper. If you want to have a continuing relational context, it’s important that your local/regional paper be sustained. Austin Beutner, who until recently was the publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, discusses these issues on the HeraldDemocrat.com, originating in Texas and Oklahoma.
“Quality journalism must be at the heart of any local paper,” Beutner writes. “Owning the conversation in Los Angeles about issues in our community and how it connects to the rest of the world started a virtuous circle. As we began to re-engage the community, the community began to re-engage with the Times – as subscribers and advertisers.”
“For a newspaper to regain its business standing,” Beutner adds, “it has to regain its community. Smarter and deeper journalism combined with community involvement will lead to new revenue streams.”
So engage with your local paper. Encourage its editors and management to do what their charter calls for – cover their communities faithfully and well.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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