Next time somebody tells you that newspapers are dying, show them this article from the Washington Post. Yes, it’s true that big metro dailies are in trouble, but smaller dailies and weeklies are doing just fine.
- “Why? Small papers face less competition from other media outlets, are insulated from ad slumps that have hammered big papers, employ smaller staffs of lower-salaried journalists and have a zealous devotion to local news, both in print and online, industry experts agree. Also, there is less competition on the Web for local news.”
Smaller papers don’t have to cover dozens of communities like major metros. They can focus on just one town, giving their readers more detailed news coverage. But the Post article warns small dailies not to go all local — a paper in South Dakota did that and got so many complaints that it had to restore its national and international coverage.
For stock pickers, Lee Enterprises (Symbol LEE) was said to be thriving because most of its papers are small. “Over the past two decades, the company’s stock price has likewise gone in the opposite direction of large-newspaper stock, climbing steadily from less than $10 a share in 1988 to more than $30 a share today,” the Washington Post noted.