Latest from the E&P Newsroom

One-on-one with the outspoken Evan Brandt, the last reporter left at The Mercury

In this episode of "E&P Reports," we go one-on-one with the outspoken reporter for Media News Group's Pottstown (PA) Mercury, Evan Brandt, where we explore what it is like to be the last local journalist remaining at this "ghost paper" that serves a suburban Philadelphia community of over 40,000. Brandt offers insight into his 25+ years at The Mercury, the several ownership bankruptcies that created years of serial downsizing, and how today he works out of his own attic to cover beats once reported on by a team of 30+ reporters.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy: Partnering with news organizations, hosting fellowships and covering nonprofits and charities since 1988

The world of philanthropy was burgeoning in 1988. But there was no unified source of information for the diverse group of charities and nonprofits until The Chronicle of Philanthropy began publishing. The monthly magazine reports on issues impacting the world that other journalists cover, such as climate change and democracy, but approaches them through a nonprofit lens.

Become 'the other job," by creating a workplace where employees resist the temptation to leave.

Employees who are happy with their current employers aren’t likely to be tempted into another position. So, how do you ensure you don't lose your people to a new, more appealing offer? Simple. You become the other job. Instead of the boring person at home, you become the mistress.

More E&P "Exclusives"
In this episode of "E&P Reports," we explore the Tri-City Record, a new, five-day-a-week free publication serving San Juan County, New Mexico, being launched by Ballentine Communications, the owners of the Durango (CO) Herald. We learn from board chairman/ owner Richard G. Ballentine and new Record Publisher David Cook why they believe there is a real opportunity for expansion into this area already served by an existing Gannett title since that paper has drastically cut back on staff and content over the past few years.
Collaboration among news media outlets is not new, but The Exchange is a new collaborative effort that aims to create business and financial content for underserved communities. It’s a collaboration of local, diverse news media with decades of service to their communities, the Local Media Association (LMA), the Local Media Consortium (LMC) and Deloitte.
The new owners of The Weekly Recorder — three lifelong residents who are active in their communities — acknowledge the challenge of entering the newspaper business when other newspapers, both locally and nationwide, are struggling. But, they believe there's an opportunity and much to highlight within Washington County.
The “gender beat” concept developed less than a decade ago, but it has already evolved significantly since then. While many of the journalists interviewed by Meg Heckman, a journalist, author and educator with Northeastern University, thought the concept of a gender beat should not be necessary, she believes it is a necessary stepping stone in the short term.
Across the country, more and more "ghost papers" are appearing, where you may find no publisher or editor; and a newsroom with just one reporter left. In some cases, entire “beats” have disappeared — where cities and large regions have no one covering the news. What happens to these journalists and to the communities they serve? In some cases a news desert remains. In others, we find competing media companies stepping in to fill the void.
Getting onsite click-to-cancel right is imperative for the coming generation of news media and will require techniques built on highly valuable content, efficient user experiences and transparency. Any applicable future adaptations needed in your onsite cancellation and retention experiences should not be viewed as obstacles but as opportunities to reassess and refine your product strategy and communication flows.
In newsrooms across the country, editors bear heavy responsibilities — leading the newsroom, determining what stories should be told and who is best positioned to tell them, challenging assertions, developing talent, elevating journalism — all while maintaining an unwavering commitment to the public’s interest. Their names may not always be as familiar as bylined reporters or celebrated columnists, but their insight, experience and leadership are indispensable. We hope you enjoy meeting this exemplary group of E&P’s 2023 Editors Extraordinaire.
Newspapers save lives. Many newspapers are recognized as vital local institutions in their communities, but how many can literally say they have saved a life? The Somers Record (one of six local newspapers owned by Halston Media) helped a critical local patient find a needed kidney.
The past few years have been remarkable for news media publishers, which have enjoyed some particularly public and powerful support. While champions for local news in the U.S. Congress have been hard at work, powerful forces have been running a counteroffensive — undermining the press, impeding access and making it easier for members of the public and political class to sue news organizations.
The Black-owned and operated New York Amsterdam News covers local, national and international news, including politics, Black wealth, education, religion, Black history, sports, arts and entertainment, and news about unions. It also has an investigative team and mission, “Blacklight.”
With costs rising, many publications are looking for ways to cut down on expenses in order to increase ROI. One such strategy for decreasing expenditure might be a reduction in print frequency, but publications must consider the effects of such a change on their brand and audience. Changing your print frequency is a question that should be carefully considered.
How do you sustain a long history as a community institution with a reputation for integrity and journalistic excellence but also innovate without losing or damaging what has been built? An innovation that has already proven its value to the Richmond Times-Dispatch newsroom, readers and advertisers is a full-service video studio installed in 2020 — and in the middle of the fourth-floor offices.
The evolution of the newspaper industry is occurring in real time. It’s been painful for some and a wake-up call for others to change their business model, explore new revenue streams and, in the process, discover how to be more visible and supportive in their communities. Many publishers, especially in local news operations, are realizing the value of evolving from a traditional subscription model to a membership model for their business, local citizens and the community.
Distrust between Pittsburgh's diverse communities and the media is a significant problem identified in an American Press Institute pilot program, which implemented an Inclusion Index developed by Letrell Deshan Crittenden, Ph.D. A Jan. 24 event at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center in Pittsburgh drew media and community members who spoke about improving coverage.
The Economic Hardship Reporting Project is a nonprofit organization that supports independent journalists financially, editorially and through co-publishing efforts with renowned media outlets. EHRP Executive Director Alissa Quart says: "We’re changing how people in media work with working-class people and with the concepts around inequality and social class.”
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When the nation watched George Floyd call for his mother and take his last breaths from beneath a police officer’s knee in Minneapolis, it ignited a wildfire across the country, calling for a reckoning on lethal policing. For journalists, it started a national conversation on how best to cover police, how to stay safe and how to identify our role as journalists in preventing the next Floyd from making headlines in our own local newspapers.
Experts determined to save local news launched a year-long process to research and publish “The Roadmap for Local News: An Emergent Approach to Meeting Civic Information Needs” on February 2nd. The year of research involved newsroom leaders, journalists and local news innovators.
Advance Local's Alabama Media Group recently announced the end of the print editions for their three newspapers: The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and Mobile’s Press-Register. However, even though the presses have stopped, the newsrooms have grown in size. In this month's "News Media Today," E&P's Rob Tornoe takes a look at how an "all in" digital strategy seems to be working for Advance in Alabama and could be a model worth replicating.
For anyone in the business of news, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of those topics that elicits emotions of equal parts exhilaration and despair. AI shows groundbreaking promise in scientific fields and medicine, and Big Tech is keenly focused on how to further develop its powers. E&P's April cover story centers on the upsides & downsides of AI's inescapable entrance into our newsrooms.
Journalists who know their audience’s interests can serve them better. In determining who reads their education reporting, journalists interviewed for this article say they place more faith in their gut instincts — talking to people in the community — over digital tools. This mirrors an earlier study of education reporters in New York.
Good things come from great partnerships, and that certainly was the case when students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University (ASU), faculty advisers and project managers from Wick Communications — the Arizona-headquartered community news media publisher — came together to take a meaningful look at local news in Arizona.
Richard E. Brown, senior director of retention for The Daily Beast, believes that everything is an opportunity, and every opportunity is a chance to build something enduring and expansive for the future. With that optimistic spirit in mind in examining AI, he sees three discernable applications that the business side of news media may benefit from immediately.  
The 2023 class of 10 News Publishers That Do It Right represents our industry with small-town publishers to large properties; monthly, weekly and daily publications; legacy print, digital publications, business and alternative publications — representing the breadth and depth of our industry. Each has faced challenges and innovated to overcome them, and each has a story to tell — revenue, content, community service, engagement, business model or platform. We’re excited to bring these publishers that do it right to you for energy and ideas.
With the increasing consumption of online video, and online video forecasted to attract even more ad spend than in prior years, 2023 is the year to ensure you have a robust video strategy and the right video partner.  Here is what Matthew Watson, CEO of STN Video, thinks is in store for 2023.
Reporting the truth is always rewarding, but it can also be dangerous, especially for journalists working in countries (theirs or on international assignments) that may severely limit press freedom and the free flow of information to the population. Whatever the situation on the ground, these journalists are subject to being attacked, arrested, detained and interrogated, and even tried, convicted and imprisoned. These imperiled journalists are not alone, however.