Seattle Times: Small towns need community newspapers

By Christian Trejbal
Special to The Times

When The Seattle Times launched the Save the Free Press initiative, it was with an eye toward bolstering local news sources that serve a critical role in a healthy democracy. Changing business models, big-tech monopolies, public apathy, newspaper chains and hedge funds all threaten the vitality of the local free press.

Yet in the search for solutions, we sometimes forget that the local free press is more than just metro and regional newspapers. News publications come in all shapes and sizes, and it is a mistake to fixate on just one end of the continuum. Smaller community newspapers that print only weekly or monthly editions are no less precious to the communities they serve than their larger counterparts.