Apr 29 2014
07:23 pm

Some say No. At least for community journalism.

Cobb’s business decision is a good move for the town and one that reflects a particular area where newspapers can and — when given the opportunity — do succeed. But because small-town dailies and weeklies can still turn a profit, many of these once family-owned businesses get sold only to end up as links in a corporate chain where the bottom line rules.

Locally owned newspapers tend to be more responsive to readers and allow them to stay connected to the ownership, said Mike Jenner, the Houston Harte chair in journalism at the University of Missouri.

“You see the publisher or owner in the checkout line at the store,” Jenner said, “or walking on the street or at the Rotary Club meeting.”

Stan Schwartz, communication director for the National Newspaper Association, agreed, saying a local owner “means vested ownership.”


bizgrrl's picture

I really like the Maryville

I really like the Maryville Daily Times for these reasons. It's an adorable small town newspaper.

Elwood Aspermonte's picture

Berkshire Hathaway is investing in community newspapers

But they are papers which are woven into the fabric of a community, much like the Maryville Daily Times, which has a nice blend of local/regional/some national news. Reading between the lines, Buffet and his crowd are investing in newspapers that are well run, well written, limited competition, unsubstitutable, and have a decent business reputation (journalistic integrity is a part of that as well). Buffet always figured if you had a solid and reputable business that ran into problematic economic/business circumstances, he could fix the back side and the business's reputation would continue to prevail on the front side.


In other words, the Knoxville News Sentinel with its ever expanding economic/costs/circulation issues coupled with it's piss poor business reputation and in my opinion highly suspect journalistic ethics and integrity framework, should not look to be acquired like Media General was, but rather kicked to the curb with the rest of the once proud local newspapers that got exactly what they deserved.

mdonila's picture


Don't kid yourself. The Sentinel and Scripps are making money hand over fist. Sure, they might not make as much the previous year or quarter or whatever, but they're not in the poorhouse. The quality might suffer (what doesn't when you ask three people to do the work of 20), but they're putting coin in the coffers.

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