Monday, May 5, 2008

Death of a small town newspaper

In April 2007 Cuba Ford Lowman started publishing a small-town newspaper in Valdese, N. C called Voice of Valdese (later changed to Voice of the BlueRidge). My husband, Leo, and I were contributing free-lance writers. We also did distribution and I did sales to start out the paper.
The initial publication was of 4,000 copies. During the Waldensian Festival in August 2008, 7,000 were printed and distributed.
Cuba told me last week the April 2008 issue is the last one. She's not making enough revenue to keep the free paper going. Ads are the only revenue, as there is no subscription base and no charge for the monthly paper.
It is sad to see a paper come and go when the community has lost it's voice. Sure, people can read the Morganton Herald for daily news, but it's just not the same as reading a monthly POSITIVE news bulletin about your own community.
So, who failed? Why didn't local merchants back the paper? I'm not sure.
But, thanks, Cuba, for the effort! You tried and it was a success in my mind. People will look for it and wonder what happened.

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