How to Start Your Own Community Newspaper
So, you have decided that your community needs a newspaper. Most often this decision came about due to public misconceptions and a lack of information that you were made aware of. This article will detail the steps that you need to take into account. It will show you how to start your own community newspaper so that the very first issue is complete and appears professional.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED;
Computer with a word processor
Large volume, high speed copy machine – (a small computer printer will be too expensive to use)
At least one ream of low grade paper
Two full black ink cartridges
One full color ink cartridge
Stapler and staples
YOUR PUBLICATIONS SHOULD INCLUDE:
(Your first publication may not include each of the items listed here. However you will want to make note of the fact that future issues will include these items.)
- A business of the month.
You will generate more advertising by featuring a local business on the cover of each publication. It will encourage these businesses to support your efforts and can inform the public of services they may not have been aware of. Be sure that you do not exclude industrial businesses. They will often place employment advertisements in your publication or will donate funds for a small block of text and/or a logo, that credits them with their support.
- An interview with the Mayor of your community.
This will also be a monthly column.
- Council news.
You will need to attend the city council meetings. Take notes on the topics that arise and report them. You can also take advantage of the time before and after meetings to arrange personal interviews with each council member.
- Attend any meetings of the local PTA and any other non-profit or volunteer organizations in your community. Take notes and report the events and topics of these meetings.
- Ask your mayor to list for you any community projects that may exist. Make appointments with the people that run these projects for interviews. These can also lead to monthly informational columns. If for example your community has a nutrition center you may find that there is a menu that you can publish each month for your readers. Our example paper included this item and the local nutrition center’s business tripled in less than three months. Many farmers took advantage of the noon-time delivery of meals for their workers.
- An about column. This column should detail the intentions of this publication. It should list details about the organization of the newspaper, who works on it, contact information, advertising rates and a disclaimer. Your disclaimer should clearly state that the opinions of the writers are not necessarily endorsed by the sponsor organization, the city/community or educational leaders.
- An editors column. This column can carry any title of your choice. The topics covered are at the discretion of the editor. It can include personal observations, humor, experiences of the editor or issues that the editor, you, encounter on a daily basis.
This writer started a community newspaper in a farm community of less than 500 people. It included articles such as; My Embarrassing Moments, I Know It’s Monday When…, (this article commented on the liter that was more prevalent on Monday mornings.)What Our Community Lacks, among other topics.
This homemade monthly newspaper serves a community of less than 450 people yet I print almost 1,000 papers a month.