Our revolution starts with the basics

Saving local news depends on restoring trust between the public and journalists. John Nagy, editor of The Pilot newspaper in Southern Pines, North Carolina, points out that too often people forget what that means in their community.

“Unfortunately, trust and appreciation for what a community newspaper brings to the community table often go unappreciated or unrealized until it’s too late,” he wrote recently. “That is the case made in a new book by Andrew Conte called ‘Death of the Daily News.'”

Those bonds start with telling the ordinary, every day stories of where we live. That might not seem all that important, but it turns out to be perhaps the most significant thing local news does. Nagy says we rightly focus on financial sustainability but we cannot overlook the real reason local news exists.

“Within the newspaper industry, the struggle for revenue is real, and in many communities, it’s insurmountable,” he wrote. “But it’s the self-inflicted wounds — losing relevance, no longer telling stories about your community — that are avoidable.”

For me, it’s a blessing to see Death of the Daily News resonating with the people who tell our local stories in communities across the United States. They’re the ones leading the revolution that maintains and grows local journalism into the future.

Belt Mag: A call to action!

Belt Magazine editor Ed Simon reached out to readers this week with a pep talk that has its roots in Death of the Daily News. He cited the book as presenting an example of how we all need to pitch in to support local news – for ourselves but also for our communities.

“This is, it must be said, an uphill battle – it requires dutiful support from citizen-readers who have a passion to make sure that nuance wins out over the simplification, the factual over the fanciful, democracy over authoritarianism.”

Check out Belt Magazine if you haven’t. And check out the book.

Pittsburgh Quarterly review

“An award-winning journalist and director of Point Park University’s Center for Media Innovation, the author makes convincing arguments for how to fill the societal void as community newspapers continue their downward spiral.”

Great review in Pittsburgh Quarterly by Fred Shaw. Read the whole thing here…

“What can’t be denied is that Death of the Daily News is an important volume that proves that the journalistic proverb, ‘afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted,’ remains shorthand for the role news gathering should play in all its evolving forms.”