I came across a new blog/website called the Yadkin Valley Times which is written and hosted by Andy Mathews the former editor of The Yadkin Ripple. What interests me the most is that I found the site via a story in the Triad Business Journal about the publishers of some small newspapers in NW North Carolina who resigned after their papers were purchased by Heartland Publications. The Biz Journal story used Mathews’ post about his interview with one of the publishers in its reporting, so for those keeping track you have this progression:
- Editor of small mainstream paper starts his own online news venture (looks like he’s using WordPress)
- Said editor interviews publisher of his former paper (and the Elkin Tribune) about the publisher’s resignation.
- In its story about the resignations a mainstream business news publisher cites material from the new online news service.
Add to this mix the fact that another mainstream paper in the area, The Winston-Salem Journal, just did a front page piece on how Yadkin County is struggling with the tension between residents who want to keep the old conservative "country" flavor of the county and those who want the county to evolve into a more cosmopolitan area. Then the Journal’s managing editor, Ken Otterbourg, writes a post in his blog about the print piece and ties it to the story about the publishers resigning. If you look at all of these pieces together you have a nice snapshot of the todays media lifecycle.
Now all we need is for some turkey at one of the local TV stations to decide they need a "war room" like CNN’s "Situation Room", hire a 20-something woman to stand in front of a large flat screen monitor and then do 45 second broadcasts of her surfing around local online sources and in the process have her tell us what we’re seeing. Heck they might even have her play a Youtube video shot by a local citizen who happened to be in the right place at the right time, which of course might lead them to lay off all their camera folks (sorry Lenslinger).
In all seriousness I am interested in what Mathews is doing with the Yadkin Valley Times, if for no other reason than it might be an early sign of what could be a promising development. That is, with lots of professional journalists hitting the streets as their former employers struggle with legacy businesses, we might begin to see more and more of them plant their own flags in the ground and start their own publishing concerns. After all they don’t have to sell that much advertising to match their old salaries, and if enough of them do it and then create a kind of co-op that they can pitch to advertisers (the former city hall beat reporter teams up with the former sports reporter) then they might create some legitimate competition for their former bosses. That would be kind of cool to see.