How Newspapers Can Survive


John Cornett

My old friend John Cornett – we’ve known each other for more than 70 years – responded to yesterday’s post about changes at the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer via Facebook.  Because not everyone who reads this blog reads Facebook, I decided to pass his comment on to you.  He has credibility when it comes to observations about newspapers because of his professional background.  He started at the Ledger-Enquirer as an employee in the promotion department.  He ended up there as National Advertising, Promotion and Personnel Manager, and administrative assistant to the publisher.   He became publisher of the Boca Raton News in Florida, then the Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune in Gary, Indiana. After retiring from Knight-Ridder,  he became Publisher of the Sports Classics Magazine in Camden, South Carolina, and now operates the sports travel agency Sports Classics International in Columbia, South Carolina.

He commented on  Ledger-Enquirer Executive Editor  Joseph Kieta’s  statement in Monday’s L-E print edition about the newspaper’s goal. 

Joseph Kieta wrote, “We want to create a daily newspaper that is an oasis from the noise of the daily news cycle – a deep breath and exhale that adds depth, relevance and context and answers the questions ‘why’ and ‘how.’ If we do our jobs the right way, we’ll probe deeply into local affairs and thoroughly explain community issues.”

John Cornett wrote: “An ambitious but fitting goal for any newspaper, and one that can be the difference in survival as an essential reflection of the heart beat of a community, and the kind of demise that many newspapers that fail to meet that standard will ultimately suffer.

“I just hope they put the resources and the personal and financial commitment behind the words. It will be the salvation for many fine journalists, employes of the support groups in production, circulation, accounting and advertising and for the community at large.”


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