Monday, 8 June 2009

Finding printers

A TSF reader posted an anonymous comment this week suggesting the availability of printing presses might be scarce for journalists wanting to launch new community newspapers.

And too costly to buy.

Perhaps, but there are small printing companies capable of printing thousands of newspapers in the page range of community papers.

An independent antiques newspaper we know of has a commercial printer print 20,000 copies of each issue. The most recent issue was 36 pages.

Printing the new product is not out of reach. All you need is the determination to sell the ads, write the copy and distribute the papers.

Let townsfolk know a new print newspaper is in town and canvass the business community for potential classified and display advertising.

Start with a weekly. Focus on everything local: news, sports, entertainment, social notes, obits, weddings etc. And lots of photos of local people.

Be innovative.

If you think new print newspapers aren't feasible these days, take a look at Snap, a photo-heavy publication launched in Newmarket in 2004 by Paul Dutton and Jon Henderson. There are now franchises across Canada, one in the U.S. and one in Italy.

The people who launched Snap found a welcomed niche - a free community paper filled with photos of men, women, children and pets. As they say, everybody wants their picture in the paper.

In launching your own community newspaper, start small, but think big. Not too big. Just big enough to keep your advertisers and readers content while paying the office rent and the wages.

If journalism is in your heart and printer's ink in your veins, get together with other like-minded, unemployed media men and women and give it a try.

Launching an independent community newspaper could be the most personally satisfying venture of your life.

1 comment:

  1. The Town of Hinton has a new independent newspaper which is set to launch its first edition. The Hintnn Voice is staffed by former Sun Media employees who worked at the Hinton Parklander, which is still operating. One was let go during the move to have composing moved elsewhere, one quit, the other left to join the new paper. And apparently they have found a very sympathetic printer.