Oct 30, 2009 10:29 PM by David Ortiviz
A report out this week shows circulation for the country's largest daily newspapers has dropped by more than 10% in the last year. To avoid cut-backs, dailies are being forced to find new ways to make revenue and locally, some are taking on the little guy.
Alternative newspapers like the Pueblo PULP seem to be bucking the negative trend affecting their larger counterparts. For the PULP circulation has gone up from being distributed free at 60 locations a year and a half ago to twice as many outlets today. "I think people were surprised that we were actually able to do this," said Susan Wolf, Publisher for the Pueblo PULP.
The PULP may not reach as many readers as The Pueblo Chieftain, but publisher Susan Wolf says the PULP is successful based on a simple formula. Production costs are lower, so they can charge less for advertising, appealing to more clients. "I think that actually helps us a lot," said Wolf.
Wolf thinks that's why The Chieftain recently started publishing a free weekly paper called Beyond The Fold. "Alternative papers seem to be doing a little bit better than dailiess," said Wolf. She thinks larger papers are asking themselves: "If this group of nobodies came out from nowhere and started an alternative paper, maybe we should be doing that."
The Gazette in Colorado Springs has also jumped on the band wagon with Fresh Ink, which comes out four times a week. This free paper focuses on telling stories and attracting advertisers in Security, Widefield, Manitou Springs, and Old Colorado City.
"Yes it is true that newspapers from coast to coast are struggling but I can tell you here at the Gazette we're not worried about that," said Tim Bergsten, Managing Editor for Fresh Ink.
"We're moving forward and we're doing it with these local newspapers," he added.
Bergsten says it's a win-win for communities: readers get neighborhood news and newspapers have a new way to make money.
Some of the stories published in Fresh Ink are written by everyday citizens. You can submit a story or learn more about the paper by going to the Fresh Ink website.