Opinion: Local newspapers are changing, but they’re still around


Erik Wemple’s coverage of the Scranton, Pa., newspaper’s sale reflected a daily newspaper journalist’s take on the newspaper world [“Could the local news crisis get any worse? Look at Scranton.,” Tuesday Opinion, Dec. 19]. There is another view.

Several thousand independent weekly newspapers — not owned by daily newspaper companies or hedge funds (or investment bankers, which is different) — continue to serve small towns. There are also Black and Hispanic newspapers, ethnic newspapers serving almost every expatriate community in America, and neighborhood and LGBTQ+ newspapers each reaching their own audiences. Most of these are in print. Some are online only. The fact that they don’t publish every day, as Scranton does, doesn’t make them any less important to their towns. Or less journalistically worthy, despite the tendency of daily newsrooms to ignore them.
The days of the Woodward-and-Bernstein newsrooms are largely over. You can mourn that loss, or you can pitch in to support a changed journalism environment.

Newspapers are not dead. They are changing.

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