A few weeks ago, I wrote that something new is growing in US journalism. It’s still fragile, and hard to define, but I stand by this quote:
I think we’ll look back on 2020 to 2022 as the start of a new journalism movement in the USA.
This week provided more evidence. A nonprofit trust purchased almost all the leading newspapers and many smaller newspapers in the state of Maine.
Here’s a full article on the acquisition, and the key quote:
A national nonprofit plans to take over ownership of five of Maine’s six daily newspapers as part of a landmark deal that could help preserve local news across the state.
The buyer is National Trust for Local News (NTLN), which was only formed in 2021. The group’s mission is to provide long-term sustainability for local news sources. NTLN also owns a chain of 24 community newspapers in Denver, Colorado.
In the New York Times story on this purchase, one of the editors involved says:
This could be the most important moment in the history of Maine journalism.
Until the NTLN stepped in, these Maine newspapers appeared likely to be sold to one of the corporate chains who have aggressively stripped local newspapers for short-term profits. The Maine Journalism Foundation, created by local reporters, tried to raise enough money to buy the newspapers, but realized they needed outside help.
WordPress is a core part of this individual story and of the larger story about new US journalism. If you click the links in this story, you’ll find WordPress sites everywhere. The Maine sites such as PressHerald.com and CentralMaine.com all use the same WordPress theme and infrastructure. WordPress is affordable, gives newspapers control over their content, and the community shares many values with these publishers.