Talk of the Towns 9/26/14

Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: The Present and Future of Community Newspapers

Key Discussion Points:
What traditional roles do local newspapers fulfill? (News, Public Notice, Editorial, Access to Customers, role of “free press” in a democracy, etc)
How do different sectors of the community relate to local newspapers?
How is your news function structured… how does it work week to week? How do you decide what to cover? What is the reporters role, the editors role?
How do you decide what editorials to write… how do you encourage readers to share their opinions? Does reader input influence what news you cover?
What is the traditional business model… advertising revenue, subscription/news stand sales?
How are the traditional roles changing and what is forcing those changes?
(digital media, changing demographics and reader preferences, etc)
How are local newspapers adapting/leading? (any differences with daily and national newspapers? Trends in on-line journalism?)
In an ideal future world, how do you wish to interact with readers, citizens, local officials, business owners… what is the business model, what is the emerging role for newspapers role in a democracy?
What are your hopes for the future of local newspapers?

Stephen Fay, Managing Editor, The Ellsworth American
Tim Archembalt, Director of Reach Marketing, Ellsworth American
Ben Barrows, General Manager, Penobscot Bay Press
Earl Brechlin, Editor, Mount Desert Islander (by phone)