The North Liberty Leader, a local newspaper with about 300 subscribers, announced today will be their last issue. If that’s all the subscribers they had in a city with a population of more than 10,000 they deserve to go out of business. Harsh assessment, yet true.
The Dubuque corporation that bought them, Woodward Communications, Inc., likely knew this fate was coming before the acquisition. Today they informed readers of the Solon Economist unless something is done, they are on the chopping block as well.
Folding the Economist seems inevitable when community leaders surveyed felt ambivalent or indifferent about the newspaper’s future. I sent a note around to the Facebook group of neighbors to which I belong, encouraging them to subscribe. It may be too little, too late. Facebook is likely part of the problem causing a decreased subscription rate.
I’ll do my part by encouraging people to subscribe, providing free content if we can work something out, and advertising if I have need. In the transition of local culture, the demise of local newspapers is just one more unwelcome step.