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Re: E-M:/ Michigan Newspapers

There's a couple of start-up community newspapers giving this a try. While they haven't been around long enough to show whether this is sustainable or not, it's good to see that alternative news sources can emerge, especially locally, where consolidation and corporatization has dimished or destroyed local news coverage. The best example, while relatively new, is the Ann Arbor Chronicle. The articles are well-written and the meetings about Council and other government meetings provide a level of detail and understanding that most local newspapers no longer provide.

Ann Arbor Chronicle:

Farmington Enterprise:



The Enterprise started out doing strictly news but has evovled into more of a community forum site. 

I'm sure there are more examples out there. 

Andrew Mutch

From: Eric Baerren <ebaerren@gmail.com>
To: Erich Ditschman <theriverdude@sbcglobal.net>
Cc: David Poulson <poulsondavid@gmail.com>; enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2008 10:02:50 AM
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Michigan Newspapers

I have a suggestion -- go Web only.

Printing the newspaper on dead trees requires the cost of maintaining and staffing a printing press. Pixels are almost free.  There are a few big papers -- the Christian Science Monitor -- who are already going this route (the CSM doesn't print a daily edition anymore, and sticks with pixels during the workweek).

It's not generating revenue, per se, but it is eliminating basically all of the costs associated with operating a newspaper -- printing press, circulation, classified ads, even management to coordinate all of those things.  After start up costs for equipment, marketing, and site design, I think you could fund an entire local news operation for less than $200,000 a year, almost all of which would be salaries for reporters, visual media specialists, and an editor.

On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 9:52 AM, Erich Ditschman <theriverdude@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

I enjoyed your column today and agree that the loss of professional journalism is a threat to our democracy.
Do you have some suggestions on how our news services can make money so that they can stay in business? 
Perhaps a silver lining is that we are saving some trees and polluting less rivers.  
Erich Ditschman

From: David Poulson <poulsondavid@gmail.com>
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2008 9:17:09 AM
Subject: E-M:/ Michigan Newspapers

I wrote this for LSJ: http://tinyurl.com/5rsdt5
I'm posting here because I believe that it has particular implications for environmental protection.


David Poulson
Associate Director
Knight Center for Environmental Journalism
Michigan State University
517 432 5417

Editor and owner