Rural news needs help

I think my biggest contribution to journalism and storytelling may be to improve local, rural news industries.

My reasoning: they need someone to help them.

I realized and confirmed one of my long-held suspicions that smalltown newspapers are stuck in the past at a local Wal-Mart near my father’s home. I saw the front page; all black-and-white photos, which were just two three-column mugs. The kicker was a fire-red flag across the top.

The layout seemed to be stuck in the 50’s and I thought to myself, once again, “And we don’t know why journalism is dying?”  While I didn’t think about snapping a photo from my iphone, I thought later to check out their website, should they have one. What I discovered wasn’t far from what I expected.

I think it is fair to say, it is almost unnavigable and completely forgotten about in the days of AngelFire.

I don’t want to single this news organization out, because there are so many that are struggling with the same issues. I’m no expert in the field of digital journalism, but I know by my experience at my student paper, there are plenty of young and innovative minds out there that could help these veterans out in the digital age.

These news organizations have stood the test of time, and that plays to their abilities to tell stories and provide information the community deems valuable. All they need is a little journalistic Redbull to pull them into a new era of multiple-platform publishing.

I guess the best lesson i’ve taken away from this is while the message may remain the same, sometimes how you convey that message is just as important.