Extra, extra!

by Rachel Blum Spencer on March 9, 2011 · 5 comments <span>Print this article</span> Print this article

in Short

I grew up reading newspapers that serviced large metropolitan areas–the Denver Post and Tulsa World. Strangely, it was only after moving to a suburb of Washington, D.C. that I discovered local journalism is alive and well. ARL Now is an online newspaper devoted entirety to the city of Arlington, VA.

Through this little “newspaper,” I learned about trivial happenings such as spats between local shop owners and the opening of new restaurants. I also discovered that Arlington, which is its own county, enjoys its own share of town meetings and political debates. Thanks to this paper, I found out that the Rosslyn kebab stand that I pass while biking to class was forced to leave his space of sidewalk and move to the other side of the neighborhood. Because of this reporting, the kebab stand’s customers were able to follow the owner when he moved, and he stayed in business. And just a few weeks ago, the staff of ARL mourned the transition of a local news association into a metropolitan conglomerate, and the ensuing loss to the Arlington community.

Of course, reading an online newspaper every day doesn’t replace civic involvement, but it helps take an intimidating city and make it a manageable area full of real people, and common concerns. Cursory research doesn’t reveal any sort of database of other local newspapers, but I have an inkling they might exist. In an age where I can get any information I like from the Washington Post, I appreciate a little sifting.

P.S. I’d love to hear about your local newspapers, if you’ve found any.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Trevor March 9, 2011 at 11:54 am

North of the Potomac (actually, north of the Patuxent), here in Howard County we have the HC Times, Columbia Flier, and Laurel Leader (actually, Laurel spans four counties). They all circulate in print, but you can also view them online.

There’s also the Patch site, which functions as a local online paper for whatever communities participate. We have one here in Elkridge, but there are a few others throughout the county. This is in addition to various local blogs and Howard County Mobile Journalism.

avatar Brandon March 9, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Pittsburgh as a city and a region is defined by numerous small neighborhoods and other government units (Allegheny County has more municipalities than any county in the counrty). Not surprisingly, out of this has arisen many community newspapers. Many of these have been bought in recent years by a regional media company, but they’re still going strong. Here’s a list: http://tribtotalmedia.com/index.php/products/bymedia/2

avatar Brandon March 9, 2011 at 9:49 pm

The Enid News and Eagle is a local paper serving the town of Enid in northwest Oklahoma. I have family history there that goes way back and every time I visit in the summer I enjoy the small town community feel of this paper.

http://enidnews.com/

avatar Steven Deal March 10, 2011 at 9:15 am

East of Dayton, the Village of Yellow Springs is blessed with a vibrant, award-winning weekly. It well represents a lively democratic process that, from the point of view of a transplant from Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, seems to be practiced the way the founding fathers intended. Local impacts of national issues, business, an international arts community, and school sports make it the mid-week must-read.

avatar polistra March 13, 2011 at 8:11 am

Ditto the Enid News. I subscribed to it for 20 years after leaving Enid, and found it to be a truly independent and truly local-oriented paper.

FrontPorchers wouldn’t like it much, because it doesn’t believe in your High Goddess Gaia, but it DOES believe in the people of Enid.

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