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A conversation with Barbara Roessner, editor of the fledgling New Bedford Light

By Dan Kennedy There are few local news start-ups that have received the kind of attention bestowed upon The New Bedford Light, which has been the subject of stories by The New York Times, “On the Media,” The Boston Globe and other outlets. With high-profile founders like publisher Stephen Taylor, of the Taylor family that … Continue reading “A conversation with Barbara Roessner, editor of the fledgling New Bedford Light”

A pioneering cooperatively owned media outlet in Ohio turns off the lights

Update: Laura Hazard Owen has more — a lot more — at Nieman Lab. Pretty ugly stuff. *** By Dan Kennedy The Devil Strip, a pioneering cooperatively owned magazine in Akron, Ohio, has closed its doors. More of an arts and culture outlet than a news organization, the operation has nevertheless stood as a successful … Continue reading “A pioneering cooperatively owned media outlet in Ohio turns off the lights”

Does better news coverage lead to greater voter engagement? The answer: It depends.

By Dan Kennedy Meaningful participation in civic life isn’t possible without access to high-quality news and information. Consider the most fundamental aspect of community engagement: voting in local elections. If prospective voters lack the means to inform themselves about candidates for the select board, the city council, the school committee and the like, then it … Continue reading “Does better news coverage lead to greater voter engagement? The answer: It depends.”

A for-profit newspaper asks its readers for donations in the name of its journalists

By Dan Kennedy Several readers called this Washington Post piece to my attention over the weekend. It’s about a fundraising drive recently held by the Tampa Bay Times to offset some of the advertising revenue it lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. Post reporter Elahe Izadi observes that the idea isn’t entirely new. The Seattle Times … Continue reading “A for-profit newspaper asks its readers for donations in the name of its journalists”

A new study highlights the difficulties of working for small newspapers

By Dan Kennedy You’ll have to forgive me for not plowing through a massive new report from Columbia’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism on a survey of more than 300 newsroom employees at small (under 50,000 circulation) newspapers. The survey follows up a similar study conducted in 2016. I did look at the executive summary … Continue reading “A new study highlights the difficulties of working for small newspapers”

In our first podcast, we interview the lead sponsor of the Mass. local news commission

By Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy We are thrilled to announce the debut of our podcast, “What Works: The Future of Local News.” Every month — and soon, perhaps, every week — we will talk to journalists, policymakers and entrepreneurs about efforts they’re making to keep local news alive. (As you may have noticed, we’re … Continue reading “In our first podcast, we interview the lead sponsor of the Mass. local news commission”

In Chicago, public radio steps up to fill the gap created by hedge-fund ownership

By Dan Kennedy It looks like Chicago’s number-two newspaper is about to get a huge boost. Given that the dominant daily, the Chicago Tribune, is being gutted by its new hedge-fund owner, the move can’t come soon enough. According to media writer Rob Feder, the Chicago Sun-Times and public radio station WBEZ are seeking to … Continue reading “In Chicago, public radio steps up to fill the gap created by hedge-fund ownership”

Print versus digital: Will they meet in the middle?

By Ellen Clegg Writing for The Atlantic in 2009, Michael Hirschorn asked a burning question about the future of The New York Times: “Can America’s paper of record survive the death of newsprint? Can journalism?” Times indeed were tough for the publicly traded Gray Lady, which was trying to weather a harrowing economic recession, a … Continue reading “Print versus digital: Will they meet in the middle?”

On the ground during a raucous student protest with The Colorado Sun

By Dan Kennedy One of the best things about visiting local news organizations is getting a chance to accompany reporters on stories. I still look back fondly on my trips to New Haven about a dozen years ago, when I shadowed the staff of the New Haven Independent. And then there was the unforgettable experience … Continue reading “On the ground during a raucous student protest with The Colorado Sun”

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