Chris Hardie is a software engineer with a deep interest in journalism. Chris worked for Automattic for five years and recently completed a master’s degree in journalism.
Last week, Chris combined these two passions by acquiring Western Wayne News in Wayne County, Indiana. The paper has a WordPress site and a weekly printed edition. It covers the spectrum of local news, including events, sports, government meetings, and business.
You can read Chris’ post about the purchase here. One section of his post jumped out at me because it summed up what we’ve been talking about here at KinshiPress:
Um, you know newspapers are dying, right? The newspaper industry is changing to be sure, and communities across the U.S. are losing a heart-breaking number of news organizations every year. But at the same time we’re seeing a surge in innovation and experimentation in local news business models that is not only leading to some local news organizations avoiding closure but actually thriving and providing new kinds of connection and service to their communities. I’m not investing in a local newspaper because I think it will be profitable, but because I think a strong local news media presence is important for the health of a community.
Both Chris and the previous owners have a post with more details on the newspaper site. The site uses WooCommerce Subscriptions for memberships and The Business Directory Plugin for listing local companies.
I wish Chris all the best with this new venture. There are a lot of shared values between the communities that support open source and those that support local news.