The importance of newspapers

It’s never a good day here when we lose more community newspapers. This month in Minnesota, we are losing 10. […]

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It’s never a good day here when we lose more community newspapers. This month in Minnesota, we are losing 10.

Alden Global Capital, which is infamous for stripping assets out of publications, is shutting down 10 papers in the southwest Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota. The Twin Cities area papers operate as Southwest News Media. Three have operated in the Litchfield and Hutchinson areas. Some of the papers have been published for more than a century.

The papers we are losing are the Chaska Herald, Chanhassen Villager, Jordan Independent, Shakopee Valley News, Prior Lake American, Savage Pacer, Southwest Saturday, Litchfield Independent Review, Hutchinson Leader and Meeker County Advertiser. These have been some terrific, award-winning papers.

Also, the Crow River Press printing company is closing.

Why should we at Access Press be concerned? We stand with our fellow newspapers in this time when we are all challenged by declining ad sales.

We are also deeply worried about what happens when other news media outlets are purchased by companies that seemed to care not for local news. I have too many colleagues who work in newsrooms full of empty desks.

Since 2020, Southwest News Media and Crow River Media have been owned by Denver-based MediaNews Group. It is subsidiary of investment firm Alden Global Capital.

Alden has been very controversial and with good reason. It also owns the St. Paul Pioneer Press, which has had its newsroom cut to the quick.

One news account of the closings described Alden as practicing “vulture” capitalism. The company slashes newspaper staffs, cuts publication frequency and increases profits for shareholders. When nothing more can be squeezed out, papers are shut down and communities are left without key news sources.

This move to shut down Minnesota papers puts many of our colleagues out on the street. The website Bring Me the News notes that one reporter being laid off was just hired a month ago.

Losing even one newspaper takes away a much-needed news source for a community.

All papers were hit very hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. But we have also been impacted over the years by more people moving to Internet advertising. And of course there is Craigslist.

That’s why, if you care about Minnesota-focused disability news, Access Press needs your support. We are a nonprofit and can accept tax-deductible donations.

We also welcome print and online advertising. With the Internet, getting the word out about business or organization can be challenging because there is just so much out there. We at Access Press offer a focused way to get your message out.

We also can have our board consider partnering on grants. We can be the communication piece so many projects require.

We need you as much as you need us.

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