Assessing your community newspaper

Ideas for assessing the impact of a community newspaper were shared by UT instructor Griff Singer at the recent Texas Press Midwinter Conference and Trade Show.

Singer discussed ways editors and publishers can “audit” their newspapers, looking at the number and kinds of stories published, editing of submitted content, how council and board meetings are covered, the number of photos, how they are displayed and whether people shown are identified. 

“After thoughtful consideration, editors must provide readers with the news and information that editors sincerely believe readers need to have,” Singer said. “That’s what ethical, professional journalists do.”

He added that editors should also consider what readers say they want to see in their local newspaper. “Have you asked them lately?” he asked.

Singer’s program notes shared in a power point presentation are available in PDF form on the Texas Press Association website. The presentation is stored in two parts: for part 1, click here and for part 2, click here. The files are compressed and should immediately download.