Writings and observations

After the paper

After a community’s newspaper is shut down, what’s the community to do? Here, another effort to set up a community web site – a blog, mainly – to help take the place.

We wrote a while back about the effort in Orting, Washington, after the weekly newspaper there was shuttered – the on-line Orting News, which includes a mix of hard news, features, business reports and more, with a fair number of ads in support.

After our post about the shutdown of a number of papers (four weeklies among them) recently in Idaho’s Magic Valley, a reader advised us to take “a look at what Marsha Hiatt took upon herself to do after the Journal was closed down” in the small community of Shoshone. We’ll pass along the advice.

The Lincoln County Chatter blog – it is mainly blog – is so far less ad-developed than the Orting site, but its sense of purpose is just as solid: A mix of news (a substantial story on the county budget, for example), features, light community discussion and more, ith several ads cropping up. Hiatt was the editor of the Lincoln County Journal when it was closed, and since then, she told us, she has continued much of the work of a weekly paper onto the new site.

Hiatt said she’d still like to see a local (print) paper at Shoshone, and has some optimism that, managed right, it might work. In any event, she’s carrying on the effort now on line. We’ll be checking in there, as we have at Orting, to see how it progresses. All those communities out there left behind by newspapers are going to need journalism coming from somewhere, and these examples are worth a close look as we all search for answers.

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