Cindy Fisher holds tight to her dream of owning newspapers

Teri Saylor

Special to Publishers' Auxiliary

Apr 1, 2022

As the owner of Kingfisher Media in Selma, Alabama, Cindy Fisher is living her lifelong dream of becoming a newspaper editor.

She is a single mom of two teenagers without the safety net of a second income to fall back on, and she is learning that running a community newspaper by herself is not for sissies.

“To ensure its success, I moved my family from a busy suburb of Birmingham, where I ran a business journal, to rural Dallas County,” she said. Transitioning from a two-hour, white-knuckled commute both ways in heavy traffic to a calm rural life on the Alabama River was a healing salve. She and her family now live alongside a menagerie of five cats, a possum named Bruce and an armadillo she refuses to name.

“I thought I was moving to Selma to ‘save’ it by bringing light and hope to this beleaguered place through strong community journalism,” she said. “It turned out I took over the Selma Sun so that Selma could save me.”

The Selma Sun was founded in 2015. Fisher bought it in 2018. It has a circulation of 2,000 and comes out on Thursdays, distributed through the mail, news racks and stores. Its mission statement is “Selma Sun: Shining the light on Selma and Dallas County.”


Fisher says, “I serve as editor, and my dad, who was a reporter when I was a kid, is my city hall and big issues reporter. My mom, a retired nurse, is our business manager. We also use a host of local freelancers to cover events and meetings, take video and photos, edit video, deliver the paper and more.”


The Selma Sun was founded as an alternative to the county’s longtime newspaper to provide more positive and uplifting coverage about the people, businesses and redevelopment plans in the community. The Selma Sun serves as a thought leader and connector for the historically divided area through solution-based reporting.


“My dad was a reporter when I was a kid, and I grew up making my own newspapers on a manual typewriter when I was in third or fourth grade and then in Pagemaker on our first desktop computer in middle school,” Fisher said. “Topics included a tornado that came through town, summaries of my favorite TV shows and a Dear Pixie advice column written from the perspective of my cat. I was editor of my high school newspaper and went with my dad to newsrooms throughout Alabama to help with production of a newspaper put out by the Alabama Press Association when I was 14-16 years old. It was then — while working in community newspaper newsrooms — that I decided I wanted to own my own newspaper someday.”


“My parent company, Kingfisher Media, which owns the Selma Sun, has already expanded in 2022 to operate two other newspapers in central Alabama, and we are looking to expand into more markets this year. Our goal is to keep alive one newspaper in each county of Alabama’s Black Belt so these impoverished, rural communities can stay just as informed and connected as more well-off communities in the country.”


“Don’t let societal expectations of being a woman stop you from taking risks that can ultimately be the best thing you can do for yourself and your family.”


“When I was a child, I wanted to be a journalist. More specifically, an editor. I used to make newspapers as a kid and assign my sisters to draw pictures to go with the stories I wrote. I still have copies of the Fisher Gazette that we laugh about today.”


“When I wasn’t making newspapers as a kid, I played flute, starting at 11 years old. I was top in the state in music competitions during my high school years and double majored in flute performance and journalism in college. I still play flute at churches, weddings, funerals and for fun.”


“Thanks to COVID, I often work in my bed at home! That cuts down on the chaos of a desk, actually.”


Cindy Fisher,
127A Broad St., Selma, AL 36701
(205) 789-0973