“Wherever there is a pervasive sense of community, a paper that serves the special informational needs of that community will remain indispensable to a significant portion of its residents.”
Warren Buffett penned those words a while back as his Berkshire Hathaway holding company began gobbling up newspapers large and small, at a time when the U.S. economy was still on the rebound and some papers were struggling to continue printing. Many journalists thought Buffett made a shrewd business decision because local newspapers have always been the lifeblood of a community.
Buffett’s words also ring true for the San Diego Community Newspaper Network, a collection of six popular papers that serve diverse communities from Downtown to Uptown to Mission Valley to La Mesa, and even our local LGBT community.
Community newspapers comprise the very foundation of journalism, serving readers with the local news they want to know and the local advertising on which they rely. Hyper-local news keeps readers informed on matters that concern them the most, frequently pocketbook issues that are often overlooked by reporters at bigger papers or television stations.
In two recent surveys by the Newspaper Association of America Readership Study and the American Opinion Research Study, readers described community newspapers as educational, helpful, engaging, enjoyable, addictive, enlightening, compelling and desirable. As the new editor of Uptown News and Mission Valley News and contributing editor to the other four SDCNN papers, I hope to live up to those standards and expectations of readers.
For some of you, I’m a familiar face after spending more than five years as editor-in-chief of San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, a media partner of SDCNN. My byline has appeared on these pages during the time I spent at the online media source.
From 2005 to 2009, I worked as a senior copy editor at the San Diego Union-Tribune, before the ax fell on many of us as one of the biggest daily newspapers in the country fell victim to a depressed economy and the sale of the media corporation by David Copley. Before that, from 1994 to 2005, I worked as deputy copy desk chief at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas. I’ve also had stops in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Hollywood, Florida, and Hamilton, Ohio, so I’m now into my fourth decade as a journalist.
Please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 619-961-1952. News tips and story ideas are always welcome. And by all means, send a letter to the editor if you want to share your views with other readers.