Strong Newspapers, Strong Communities

By: Nu Yang

Strong Newspapers, Strong Communities

Forget the doom and gloom being reported in the industry. The Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association has made a video documentary highlighting the strength of its newspapers titled “Strong Newspapers, Strong Communities.” PNA staff traveled and visited members last summer in order to learn how Pennsylvania newspapers are serving their readers and communities. The video debuted last November and showcases dozens of interviews with publishers, editors, reporters and advertising directors.    

“We wanted to share with the news industry our strengths, our energy and our optimism found across the state,” said PNA president Teri Henning.            

Henning said the group put out a call to any interested newspapers and received more than enough responses. The 17-minute long video touts various print and digital projects Pennsylvania papers are doing, including a community media lab at the Pottstown Mercury and the incubator program at the Philadelphia Inquirer. It also featured niche and alternative publications like the Philadelphia Gay News and Philadelphia Weekly.            

“Print is not dead,” Philadelphia Weekly editor Stephen Segal said in the video. “It’s all on how you approach it, and the answer that we came up for it over this past year was don’t go smaller, go bigger.”            

With more than 1,000 views on YouTube, Henning said she encouraged papers to show the video to their newsrooms. She also wanted to see other news organizations launch similar projects that focused on positivity. “We always hear about the difficulties in the industry, but we should also share the good news in the industry and the strengths in our markets,” Henning said.

(Pottstown) Mercury editor and Pennsylvania regional editor for Digital First Media Nancy March said she participated in the documentary in order to share with legacy media groups the digital efforts taking place at her paper. Although she believed the video succeeded in reporting what newspapers were doing, she wished the video showed more diversity and more emphasis on the digital transformations taking place in the industry.            

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
executive editor David Shribman said he spoke in the video because it was time for newspapers to show some self-confidence. In the documentary, he said as long as human emotions exist, “news is (never) going out of fashion.”

To watch the video, visit the PNA YouTube channel at or visit for more information.

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2 thoughts on “Strong Newspapers, Strong Communities

  • April 8, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    When I went to YouTube to view the video I was hoping to hear from a reader or two and/or an advertiser or two…maybe along with positive comments from media folks in PA. I too am optimistic about our business and I believe we make a unique contribution to the communities we serve. But what I really wanted was to hear how something we did affected someone’s life. I’m not sure how much mileage we’ll get out of recording how positive we feel or talking about the cool stuff we’re doing in the digital space. We’re not in charge any more. If we do something worthwhile or truly cool our audiences will let us know. That’s what I wanted to hear–our audiences letting us know.

  • April 18, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Very nice article and referenced YouTube video. Encouraging! Even inspiring. But it would have been even better (as Davis Taylor suggests) with voices from readers and users of the various news media being extolled. What your customers say about what you do is more powerful than what you say you do!


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