Goal is to make a newspaper that’s as good as the community

Bassett Class

“A newspaper is only as good as the community it serves.”

For years, that’s been my defense mechanism when people complained about whatever newspaper for which I happened to be working.

These days, in my professional life, that quote has a solely positive meaning. The Salisbury Independent, this little community-centric newspaper we’ve created and kept going for the last year, seems to reflect the good things that are happening around us.

In 2013 in the United States, more than 100 weekly newspapers closed (that number is likely a lot higher, as many of these products just disappear or migrate to online-only). According to the Newspaper Association of America:

  •         36 daily newspapers folded. More than 60 dailies reduced their production days, some to as low as three days a week.
  •         In 2013, 17 new weekly newspapers were launched, and some of those were built on the ruins of a failed product.

Salisbury Independent, therefore, is rather unique in both the business and newspaper world. While those around us have failed, we’ve created a fun, readable news product that reflects our community’s potential.

The key to our success has been developing an audience. OK, the truth is we didn’t develop anything ─ you were already there.

I get the feeling you were just waiting for a newspaper platform that reflected what YOU believed to be important.

You were hungry to read stories about your neighbors and friends and schools and civic leaders. You were past-ready to see some local successes celebrated, rather than be incessantly reminded about our community failures.

Collectively, when it comes to local news coverage, we’ve all been drinking a lot of sand for a lot of years. My hope is that Salisbury Independent can be your weekly dose of sparkling water.

My dream has always been to serve as a hometown editor, working to make things better for my friends and neighbors ─ people I know and those I have yet to meet.

I continue to thank our great readers and advertisers for such an opportunity.

 

Greg Bassett is editor and general manager of Salisbury Independent. Reach him at gbassett@newszap.com

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