Publisher’s Letter: If You Lose the News…

By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

Across the country, local news is in a state of crisis.

But let’s bring that closer to home: In Colorado, since 2004, one in five local news services have closed down. Many areas are now “news deserts” with no local coverage of governance, elections, education, health, or events specific to their local communities.

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In May 2017 I was alarmed. North Forty News was about to become yet another statistic — closing down after serving communities throughout Northern Colorado for over 25 years.

At a time when the population of this region is surging, adequate news coverage is seriously eroding. And no distantly-owned daily provides the local nuance that hyperlocal coverage requires to truly serve the needs of the people where it counts — where they live!

So I did the unthinkable — I stepped in to do the hard work of not only saving this newspaper but for the first time in its history, expanding it to a weekly.

Local news supports the democratic process and drives civic engagement.

With its loss, studies show that citizens are:

  • less likely to vote in local elections
  • less politically informed
  • less likely to run for office
  • less informed about significant planned changes in their environment

We seek solutions that will safeguard, support and expand our operations.

Across the country some newspapers:

  • are currently being supported through philanthropy
  • have changed to nonprofit status and are currently being supported through grants
  • are currently being supported through taxes as local news is not a “public market” as much as it is a “public good” much like public broadcasting.

If you are reading this, you are among our more informed citizens who understand the need for hyperlocal coverage — so perhaps “I am preaching to the choir.”

But in addition to subscribing and/or supporting us through a monthly donation of any size, please consider writing your elected officials. This will open the conversation about how we can preserve and expand local news coverage throughout Northern Colorado. Readers informed about nearby communities can then band together over local issues affecting their entire region — this can provide the collective and competitive edge in planning for their future.

You can show your interest and support by:

  • sending us your stories and photos of your kids or grandkids’ accomplishments, scenic pictures, school activities, sports activities, and topics you think are locally newsworthy. The email address for your community is at the top of your community page or write to: info@northforytnews.com.
  • subscribing or buying a subscription for a friend. We make every dollar go a long way. Reading our free version and telling your friends about us helps build our reader base — your subscription takes it even further.
  • telling our advertisers you appreciate their support of North Forty News. Buy their products and services and let them know where you saw their ad.

We want to hear from you. Let us know how we can improve and make North Forty News an even brighter star in your community and in your neighboring communities throughout Northern Colorado. Send your comments and suggestions to: info@northforytnews.com.

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LOCAL NEWS IS A PUBLIC GOOD!

Help support our work on your behalf by subscribing to either or both of our publications on either of these links:

northfortynews.com/subscribe  or  scenenoco.com/subscribe

Or contact us to learn more about advertising with us including how your ad in our print edition will also show up in the online digital replica of our current edition along with on our website.

Blaine Howerton