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It’s not often now that the number of newspapers in America actually increases. But this week, one of the most vibrant cities in the South has a brand new community newspaper. Today our Georgia Trust for Local News is launching The Macon Melody in Macon, Georgia. 


The Melody is the vibrant newspaper that a place like Macon deserves – delivering relevant, engaging, and informative community news from a bustling newsroom in Macon. The launch of The Macon Melody is also an important milestone for the National Trust for Local News. We are leveraging our infrastructure to build a newspaper in a news desert, a major expansion of our model that will allow us to reach many more communities in every state that we serve.

“Protecting and strengthening the unique assets of community newspapers is what we do,” said Elizabeth Hansen Shapiro, CEO and co-founder of the National Trust for Local News. “But too many communities have already lost those assets altogether. In Macon, we are harnessing our Georgia team and platform to serve a community that already lost its local news. This is a breakthrough combination of the newest and oldest ideas in the news business.” 

The Melody meets Macon wherever it is. In addition to a dynamic and inviting digital news site, the Melody publishes a beautiful weekly print edition available at businesses across Macon or delivered straight to mailboxes anywhere in Bibb County. The first print edition rolled off the Georgia Trust’s printing press in Perry earlier this week and will arrive in Macon on Friday. 

The Melody features everything from an arts & culture calendar to in-depth investigative reporting. Readers will find a wide range of stories on health, arts, small business, and local government, as well as coverage of the outdoors and sports from Little League to high school football. Esteemed journalist and Maconite Ed Grisamore pens a news column with stories from the community and an opinion column detailing his travels around Middle Georgia. To bring all of this reporting to life, the Melody features the photojournalism of staff photographer Jason Vorhees.

“We’re covering all aspects of life in Bibb County,” said Executive Editor Caleb Slinkard. “We will celebrate the good things that happen here, elevate solutions to community problems, and shine a light on the issues that readers tell us matter.” Caleb is a lifelong journalist, almost literally – you’ll have to ask him for the details – and a longtime Macon community member. He leads a newsroom of seven journalists in Macon. There is even a news clerk at the front desk, ready to take phone calls and questions. In total, the Melody has created 12 new jobs in Macon.

Our Georgia Trust for Local News owns 18 other community newspapers across Georgia, serving one in ten Georgians. “It’s expensive and challenging to start a local newsroom,” Georgia Trust Executive Director DuBose Porter told us.  “Launching a 19th local newspaper is a lot easier, faster, and more economical. The Georgia Trust is what makes The Macon Melody possible. We’ve been able to build a fantastic community newspaper from scratch in just seven months. We are eager and honored to help Macon tell its stories.”

All of this is possible because of a landmark investment from the Knight Foundation, which is as committed to Macon as it is to scaling innovative news business models. As always, we’ll use philanthropic funding to launch The Macon Melody while moving aggressively to generate the earned revenue from readers, advertisers, and community partners required to sustain the work in the long term.



Each of the stirring and vivid photos that you see in this website was captured by one of the 17 photojournalists who work in National Trust for Local News newsrooms in Maine, Colorado, and Georgia.

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