Helping small businesses? Don't forget your local newspaper!
December 23, 2021
Small newspapers are dependent on local advertising. They employ your friends and neighbors, working as journalists and as historians. They promote local events, businesses and nonprofit organizations.
Remember when your child, your friend, you, made the front page? Or the photos of the big game, the local play, the band concert?
Remember when the newspaper did a story about your fundraiser? How about the publicity given to your service organization? Remember seeing friends or family in the photos of the local parade, craft show or concert?
Remember when you planned that event and the local paper sent a reporter to cover it? Remember the photos in the next issue? Have a stack of clippings tucked away – the honor roll list, your engagement announcement, grandma’s obituary?
Many local newspapers are small businesses, too, and they need your support.
Here are some ideas and some ways that you can help support your hometown newspaper, now or anytime:
• Want to help two local businesses at once and see your dollars go twice as far? Pay for an ad in the local paper for another local business.
• Place an ad to wish someone special a happy birthday.
• Place an ad to celebrate that anniversary.
• New neighbor? Buy them a gift subscription to the local paper.
• Buy a subscription for yourself, or for a friend.
• Buy a subscription for a school or library. Help make the news accessible to students and people who otherwise might not have access.
• Place an advertisement: businesses that place ads in local newspapers know that they are reaching local readers.
• Sell that stuff with an ad in the paper.
• Hiring? Let the community know with an ad in the local paper.
• Like and follow your local paper on social media, and share their posts.
Just as importantly, engage with your local free press!
Share your thoughts with reporters and editors. Send an email or comment online not just when you’re angry but also when you read something really good. Tell the people who brought you the story that you appreciate it.
Before you fire off an angry missive, think about how you frame it. Rather than call someone an idiot or worse, offer constructive criticism. Suggest alternative sources for the next story.
And contact us when there’s something newsworthy going on. Journalists aren’t omniscient. We rely on people to send in tips so that we can get on top of stories that matter to the community.
The value of trusted local journalism has never been more clear: as trust in government erodes, it is independent reporting that provides the necessary oversight and illumination to inform the public and hold policymakers accountable – local newspapers are responsible for half of the country’s original reporting despite only accounting for 25% of the media outlets – Vox Media, Sept. 15, 2020.
Above all, don’t forget your local newspaper is a small business that needs your support!