A LETTER FROM OUR CO-FOUNDER AND CEO ELIZABETH HANSEN SHAPIRO


 

NOV 01 | 2022

 

In May 2021 we heard from Bill Patterson, a publisher in North Texas ready to write the next chapter for his century-old community newspaper. Skip ahead to just a few weeks ago, when we announced plans for KERA, the public media organization serving North Texas, to acquire Bill’s Denton Record-Chronicle. We are so excited to be working with Bill and with Nico Leone and our partners at KERA to keep local news in local hands in the fifth largest media market in the U.S.

This is a new model for community journalism: a public media community anchor. It’s the second major community journalism innovation catalyzed by the Trust and holds promise for more communities around the U.S.


And we know that public media is poised to do more in local news. In our recent research report analyzing the growth of public media local journalism over the last two decades, my co-authors Carrie Porter, Mark Fuerst, and I show how public media has the journalist capacity, financial strength, and audience reach to help address the crisis in local news.


The Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University published a short version of the report here and highlighted the research in its weekly newsletter. You can download and read a full pdf of the report on our website.


It is a thrilling time for the Trust and for community news outlets everywhere. Our work in Colorado is heating up as we lead the Colorado News Conservancy board through the next chapter of our growth in the Centennial state. We closed on our second impact investment in Colorado this month, refinancing the loan we used to acquire Colorado Community Media. We are so delighted to be bringing more local impact investors into local news to help us drive sustainability and community service.


Please continue to share your ideas and your feedback with us. We are thankful for your interest and role in keeping local news in local hands.


 

National Trust for Local News Logo

—Elizabeth Hansen Shapiro