The misinformation about community news

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

I f you listen to what a former local daily publication in Genesee County has to say, then you may have heard community newspapers are dead.

This is the conclusion reached by a newspaper which has adopted a mostly online presence in recent months. They have decided people don’t want news just about the community they live in. They want county and regional news too — so community newspapers no longer make sense in this “global market.”

I have to admit, I never got the memo on this. Close to 25 years in the business and someone is telling me what the TV reporters were telling me in the 1980s — print is dead.

All I have to say is “rubbish.” OK, that’s the sanitized version of what I really think, but we’ll go with it because we are, indeed, a community newspaper with an audience of young and old alike so I’ll mind my language.

Let me say, first of all, community newspapers are alive and well and are being delivered to your mailbox in Genesee County every week by View Newspapers and the Davison Index.

What those other guys are saying is they can’t make it in the world of print anymore, so they are going to cut back publishing and put more content online. If that’s their niche, so be it, but these newspapers also fill a need the other guy has pretty much walked away from.

Admittedly, there is a need for local news on the Internet. That’s why View Newspapers has We put this newspaper you receive every week up on our website so you can read it electronically if you don’t want to take the time to look through the printed version. We also post breaking news from your community there so you don’t have to wait until our next edition comes out.

But our mainstay is community newspapers and it’s what we do best. It is an industry which has indeed taken its hits from the internet, but one that still appeals to many people who want to read about what their children are doing in school, who owns the new business around the corner and what their local city council or township board is doing.

Community newspapers are far from dead. We certainly haven’t thrown up our hands and declared it’s over — not by any means.

People want hometown news, contrary to what those other guys are saying. I know because rather than sitting in an office in downtown Flint, we are out in the suburbs talking to people and hearing directly what they want and what they think.

People can go online to get state, national, world and even local and regional news — but they know to get good, informative hometown news and sports in Genesee County they should take a look at their weekly View and Index.

And for those readers who want to see what’s happening in neighboring communities — even in some of the surrounding counties like Lapeer, Sanilac, Saginaw and Huron — they can go to to see more of what we have to offer.

So keep reading us because locally based community journalism is alive and well in our communities. The folks here at View Newspaper Group remain dedicated to delivering your local news every week — both online and in print.

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