In my last blog post, I wrote about how many regional papers are calling themselves community newspapers despite being nothing of the sort.
I want to reclaim the term "community newspaper". A real community newspaper is created by the community with the fundamental aim of enriching the community it serves. This enrichment may take many forms, including but not limited to:
- Giving local people a space to talk to each other
- Being a source of accurate, helpful information (This information doesn't have to be local; it just has to be relevant.)
- Providing an outlet for local people's creativity
- Presenting a positive image of the area while not ignoring the bad news
- Helping the community to identify as a community; encouraging people to feel ownership of their local area
- Encouraging active involvement, breaking down the barriers between reader and contributor
- Providing employment, training or work experience opportunities locally
Community newspapers around the world all have different ways of fulfilling their remit. What they all have in common is the goal of making their community a better place.