Guides for enhancing and extending your resources for reporting, editorial, photojournalism and other content generating areas.

Check out the county breakdowns on interesting subjects

July 6, 2016

The Rural Blog has had a big basket of interesting and useful stories recently. Let’s see how many we can cram into one column.


Think carefully before posting the ‘final word’

May 9, 2016

A mayor takes issue with an editorial that criticized a city council action, calling your facts into question. Irate parents challenge your decision—your right—to report their son didn’t dress for the basketball game because he was suspended for violating school policy. A pastor is critical of an ad you accepted for publication, saying it was in poor taste.


Rural communities might not know their local hospitals are in trouble

May 9, 2016

If your rural hospital is in trouble, it’s not alone. At least 66 rural hospitals have closed in the last six years, because of a combination of factors, such as changes in federal reimbursement and patients’ increasing preference for larger hospitals. About 300 are in financial straits, states the National Rural Health Association.


GA twice-weekly fights for its community

May 9, 2016

JESUP, GA—If it is a newspaper’s duty to print the news and raise hell, the Press-Sentinel of Jesup, GA, is answering the call and rattling Satan’s rafters over a proposed coal-ash dump at the county landfill.


Fact checking is important during presidential race

April 5, 2016

This year’s presidential race has been one of the ugliest and intriguing we’ve ever had, and it could be one of the most momentous. It has overshadowed thousands of state and local races, which are the main political interest of community newspapers.


Open government is under attack

February 25, 2016

Underlying most of the issues we cover as journalists is the principle of open government, which is under attack on many fronts. Local governments want state legislatures to weaken public-notice laws; public officials evade open-meetings laws with private conversations; and legislators all over the country are trying to weaken open-records laws. For example, two bills in Florida would eliminate mandatory awards of attorney fees in cases where plaintiffs prove that government officials have violated the state Public Records Law, as we noted on The Rural Blog at


Some newspapers need a lot more ‘news’

February 25, 2016

Not all newspapers are dead, and the printed newspaper business is not doomed. However, many editors and publishers, hearing that the proverbial “sky is falling,” have hurt the industry by cutting content, the news hole and subsequently, the value to the subscribers. Instead, they should have increased interest with more local content.


Compelling headlines get readers to stop and read your stories

February 25, 2016

So here you have a compelling collie-mix interest story all edited and ready for the front page of your newspaper. It’s about a family dog who ran off with a little mutt a few months ago, but then the little mutt runs off with a Rottweiler and our doggie decides life on the lamb is too ruff for his liking.


5 tips for mining news from the SEC every business journalist should know

February 4, 2016

Here are five tips every business journalist should know when dealing with SEC records.


Ask the question and deliver the chicken dinner

February 4, 2016

It makes little difference whether a newspaper serves 1,500 or 200,000 readers. Newspapers must connect with readers—their customers—if they are to remain relevant.


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