When Community Impact Newspaper and The Texas Tribune, a digital first non-profit media organization, began considering the possibility of working together, the two sides were quick to agree upon one shared common goal—providing quality, unbiased journalism.
By partnering, the pair could also benefit from what the other did best.
Founded in 2009, the Tribune’s focus revolves specifically around public policy, politics, government and statewide issues, all of which affect residents regardless of what part of the state they live in. Meanwhile, with coverage from 22 hyperlocal monthly newspapers across more than 34 communities, Community Impact provided an opportunity to reach and engage more readers than ever before.
The concept came to fruition with Community Impact’s March edition, which featured briefs by the Tribune on the paper’s “At the Capitol” page. The briefs ran alongside the paper’s original content examining sanctuary cities and how counties across Texas were handling the issue.
“We did this partnership because we recognized that readers really like quality state content,” said David Arkin, Community Impact’s chief content officer. “Adding Texas Tribune to our print and digital products will create more value for our readers because of what they write about and their brand recognition.”
Online, Arkin said Community Impact plans to feature Tribune articles in its state legislature section (communityimpact.com/section/at-the-capitol/).
“We’re also looking at how to take state-level content they write in areas like environment, health and transportation and have that featured on our sections for those areas as well,” he said.
Additionally, the two organizations intend to organize a single event together later this year for the business community, most likely in the Austin region.
“I’m absolutely thrilled for the opportunity to spread the Tribune brand far and wide by way of Community Impact’s incredible reach and readership,” said Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune editor-in-chief. “We’re so grateful to them for being open to what is already a fruitful relationship.”
Despite the ongoing cuts being made by many newspapers, particularly in the newsroom, Arkin emphasized that the partnership was part of Community Impact’s intentions to grow—not downsize. Last year, the company built a $10 million press next to its headquarters outside of Austin and currently distributes copies to 1.7 million people. Over the past six months, Community Impact has seen its page views and online audience triple.
“We aren’t doing this partnership because we are shrinking. It’s actually the opposite. We are a successful and profitable business not looking for the next opportunity to cut costs,” Arkin said. “We’re looking to invest and are seeking smart opportunities and partnerships. If other newspapers seek partnerships, they should do it because the content is truly adding value.”