Potter Listening Tour
Walter B. “Walt” Potter Jr., who works with the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute to explore the future of community newspapers, is visiting community newspapers in The Potter Listening Tour. In this series, Potter will try to uncover some of the new realities for community publishers and editors and highlight some of the opportunities and challenges they face.
Potter established the Missouri School of Journalism’s Walter B. Potter Sr. Fund for Innovation in Local Journalism in 2010 to help journalists in small communities make the transition from print to new means of communication. The fund supports a series of conferences that connects new technology experts from RJI and elsewhere with small-town newspaper people.
For a century, the Culpeper Star-Exponent — whose predecessors date to 1881 — served a small community that changed relatively little. Today, the newspaper is dealing with rapid change in its central Virginia market. Since 1980, Culpeper County has more than doubled its population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, mostly with commuters to the … Continued
A recent issue of Nuevas Raices, the Harrisonburg, Virginia, weekly newspaper that serves Hispanic readers in the Old Dominion, had just one small coupon ad. “We don’t trust them,” explains owner Fernando Gamboa, who says his 14,000 readers worry the coupons, standard in U.S. papers, won’t be redeemed. His readers have grown up in countries … Continued
Walter B. “Walt” Potter Jr., a retired newspaper publisher who works with the University of Missouri School of Journalism’s Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, will tour community newspapers again this spring. A year ago, Potter visited Missouri weeklies and small dailies during what became known as the Potter Listening Tour. He wrote a series of … Continued
As an old hand in print newspapers, I was struck by the contrast between the often days-long reporting process I remember and the instantaneous production I strived for during the tour (I posted to Facebook and Twitter). I had to create my words almost at the same time I was recording the words of my … Continued
Last year the Local Media Association named the Southeast Missourian the second-best daily newspaper with a circulation under 30,000 in North America. Bob Miller, editor of the Cape Girardeau paper, wants to build on that success, but he acknowledges the challenges posed by the convergence of print and digital technologies. First, there’s figuring out what … Continued
As many legacy mass media company leaders worry about what they can’t do in the new digital age, Rust Communications Inc. is finding a cornucopia of things it can do. “We constantly look for new revenue streams,” says Co-President Jon K. Rust. The Cape Girardeau, Missouri-based company has capitalized on its resources, which include 49 … Continued