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Into the Issues by Al Cross

Al Cross edited and managed rural newspapers before covering politics for the Louisville Courier Journal and serving as president of the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the extension professor of journalism at the University of Kentucky and director of its Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, which publishes The Rural Blog at http://irjci.blogspot.com.

Rural journalism is good journalism

We think it’s important to exalt examples of good work, and that’s why we present the Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, integrity and tenacity in rural journalism — and partner with ...

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A newspaper editor cries for help, in a surprisingly frank way, and gets it; his embarrassed publisher is glad he did

Under a headline reading, "Will you cheer the death of an institution or come to its aid?" Editor Chad Hobbs told how the paper was suffering from social media, a boycott by some advertisers upset about ...

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Forums can rekindle interest in local news, help community appreciate your work

If there is an issue in the community that needs sorting out, have a forum to discuss it.

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National Summit on Journalism in Rural America shows good journalism is good business

“I leave hopeful for community newspapers,” one attendee said as she left the National Summit on Journalism in Rural America June 4. And there were reasons to have hope.

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Join the National Summit on Journalism in Rural America on YouTube, June 3-4

All this raises a fundamental question, not just for rural newspapers, but for their communities: How do rural communities sustain local journalism that supports local democracy? That is the question we ...

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One way to put philanthropy in your business model: a community news fund

For independent newspaper owners who can’t find the right buyer, the key move could be transferring the paper to a nonprofit corporation and living on salary rather than distributions of profits. ...

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Where will non-metropolitan news outlets get the revenue they need to support good journalism? We need answers

He sees a future in which “for-profit general news organizations of less than enormous scale (and therefore almost all local digital outlets) will increasingly be dependent almost entirely on reader ...

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‘60 Minutes’ report on crisis in local journalism gives local media opportunity to elaborate, reinforce message

Most of those stories, and the belief that “journalism is essential for the survival of American democracy,” as one former reporter put it, are familiar to readers of The Rural Blog. But they ...

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Stand up for the truth in your community

‘I got tired of the paper being part of the problem with people treating each other with a lack of respect. I realized we weren’t going to change anyone’s mind, and it wasn’t worth ...

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AP lets nonmember weeklies republish its investigative story about 2020 election fraud

The truth has prevailed among most Americans, but not among most Republicans, and that’s a real problem for democracy — and for journalism, which is supposed to serve it.

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Far too little fraud to make a difference in election, AP finds; it allows non-subscribing weeklies to republish story

Millions of Americans believe the 2020 election was stolen. That's not true, The Associated Press concluded after exhaustive investigations in the six most closely decided states. 

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NeSmith, Georgia publisher turns dying weekly into nonprofit to be maintained editorially by the University of Georgia

Two strategies that have been touted as ways to preserve community newspapers — the nonprofit model and university involvement – are combining to save a weekly newspaper in northeast Georgia. ...

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Let’s steer some of that pandemic relief money into sample copying

Few vaccine-hesitant or -resistant people are likely to be persuaded by a news story or editorial urging vaccination, but it's important to keep delivering facts about the vaccines because social media ...

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Pandemic facts can be delivered with unusual means: social media, Extension agents, federal funding

With the nation desperately in need of vaccination and masking to prevent deaths and keep our hospitals from being overrun, what role should community newspapers play?

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Editorials provide leadership needed in pandemic

Hale-Spencer discovered that a court-appointed lawyer was going to sell the property to a developer. “We believe the price is not right and the assets are being ignored in the name of haste,” ...

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Now we have to make people want local news

This is just one example of how we can get Americans interested in local news again. We can’t just talk about why newspapers are needed. We have to prove it.  

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Paxton Media buys Landmark Community Newspapers

One of America's larger community newspaper companies is buying the other. Paxton Media Group of Paducah, Kentucky, announced May 25 that it is buying Landmark Community Newspapers LLC, a chain of 44 ...

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Pandemic payoffs: sample copies and public notices

The main issue facing the country and most of our communities is what it has been for more than a year: the coronavirus. We are in what is almost certainly the last chapter, immunization — but this ...

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Al Smith’s journalism was one of good faith, now often missing

Al Smith, my friend and mentor who died March 19 after a very full life, was known best in Kentucky as the host of a TV show on which journalists gathered to hash out the week’s news and as one of ...

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The pandemic has made Americans more interested in health issues

The coronavirus pandemic could actually make America healthier in the long run by prompting reinvestment in its eroded public-health system, Joanne Kenen, executive health-care editor of Politico, wrote ...

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