In our opinion, the title of Judy Miller’s book “Emus Loose in Egnar” points at the object of her research ”“ small community newspapers. Such newspapers write about local events (such as emus which escaped from a local farm), which bare meaning and significance only for the inhabitants of the community (Akst).
The differences between community journalism and big-city journalism are multiple. First of all, the run of the newspaper is different. For big-city newspapers such as “Chicago Tribune” and “The New York Times” it reaches from 400000 to 800000 issues daily and even more on Sundays. There is no need to mention that the run of local newspapers is rarely above five thousand issues (Lauterer, xiii). Another difference is, of course, professional qualities and talent of small newspaper journalists which are often much worse than that of big country-wide newspapers journalists. The third difference is that local newspapers are usually run by single persons or families, such as the Gish, who are mentioned in the article by D. Akst whereas big newspapers are a product of large publishing corporations, hundreds of people co-operating. Besides, big newspapers are more likely to integrate into a digital revolution by starting and maintaining their web-sites and digital issues. And, what is also important, big newspapers can suffer occasional fall in popularity and demand without severe outcomes (thanks to accumulating considerable finances, on which they can draw on if need be), while to small newspapers such fall in demand can prove to be fatal. And the last, but not least, is the reading audience of the local newspaper. Because the readers of such newspapers are living next door to the newspaper’s office, the attitude of the writer must be more sensible and personal. The writer must clearly see his reader and foretell the feedback, which his article might have. It is not acceptable to throw personal insults and groundless claims concerning people from the neighborhood.
The people the community newspaper writes about are local people, while in big cities newspapers usually write about celebrities and other famous people.
As for the advantages and disadvantages of weekly newspapers we should say that weekly newspapers contain information about the most interesting and important events, which occurred during the past week in the local community. On the other hand, weekly papers cannot so quickly and effectively react to recent issues as daily papers do. One more thing is the weekly newspapers reading audience ”“ these are usually people with higher income. Also the advertisement in the weekly newspapers is more effective in long-term sense. The readers of weekly papers usually tend to remain longer in certain area thus creating a steady demand on goods, advertized in the newspapers. Also weekly newspapers can be sent by mail, which makes them more reliable. Among their drawbacks we can list their higher cost per thousand and their relatively small circulation compared to daily newspapers (SYP).
With the appearance and growing popularity of the Internet, newspapers lost part of their audience (mostly young people and businessmen) and circulation. Some even were wiped out of the market. Internet robbed the newspapers of their monopoly on advertisement, proposing free of charge advertisements to anyone willing to bother. Moreover, Internet advertisement could reach more people and quicker than any printed newspaper (especially weekly ones). In the age of digital revolution newspapers were reluctant to lunch their web-sites, not seeing the opportunities and benefits of the new ways of distributing information. The editors and publishers stay rigid, hoping that Internet eventually would disappear. But we all know that once something new appeared, it would not go. More so, if this “new’ is better than the old.
Akst, Daniel. The Reporter Next Door. 19 July 2011. Web. 29 July 2011.
Lauterer, Jock. Community Journalism: A Personal Approach. ISBN 0-9729937-2-X. Marion Street Press. 2003. Print.
Lyons, Daniel. A Decade of Destruction. Newsweek 20/10. Web. 29 July 2011.
Selling Your Publication. Weekly Newspapers. 2006. Web. 29 July 2011.