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

Keep the Newsprint Coming to Community Newspapers: An Action Plan

March 26, 2018

Educate yourself and your staff first about newsprint tariffs.

Shed light on the epidemic of suicides

August 14, 2018

High-profile deaths always grab headlines. Suicides especially draw attention as witnessed by the deaths of renowned fashion designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain. The news was carried in big and small newspapers alike.

Enterprise reporting goes beyond the obvious

August 14, 2018

When it comes to interviewing reporter candidates, many editors want to see examples of so-called enterprise reporting.

Turning newspapers into online conversations

June 14, 2018

About 20 years ago, I was a young reporter working at the Blackstone Courier-Record in the greater Richmond, VA, area. This was long before internet use was mainstream and we had to worry about memes, fake news and how viral a story about the community’s largest pumpkin might become.

Newspapers can reduce stigma of drugs and mental illness; the politics of rural resentment reverberate

June 14, 2018

The stigma that still surround mental illness and drug addiction, especially in rural areas, are major obstacles to addressing those issues. Rural news media can play an important role in reducing stigma and helping individuals and communities face up to their problems and deal with them.

Humorous tales from editors for editors

June 14, 2018

Several high school and college students did good work for my newspaper over the years, but one young lady was not exactly committed. Jenny went five weeks without showing up, then strolled into my office like she had never been away. I politely told her to find another part-time job. I said I needed someone who at least phoned when they couldn’t make it to work. She had the audacity to look shocked. Oh well.

Give readers what they need and want

May 4, 2018

One of the wisest comments I ever heard from a newspaper editor was from my friend John Nelson, editorial director of Landmark Community Newspapers. It went something like this: “We need to give readers what they want, but we must also give them what they need—and make them want what they need.”

The importance of editorial cartoons in community newspapers

May 4, 2018

Editors have a love-hate relationship with editorial cartoons, so I’d like to be the one to spread the love.

Tariffs affect more than newspapers

April 9, 2018

As newspaper publishers worried about tariffs on newsprint, farmers and others in rural America worried about tariffs on other products that could spark a trade war. The Rural Blog is keeping its readers current on trade and many other issues; here’s a sampling of stories from the last couple of months.

8 ways to promote community journalism in local classrooms

March 14, 2018

The Pulitzer Prize-winning editor of Iowa’s Storm Lake Times has a blunt assessment of print journalism as we know it.

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