Saving Community Journalism

The Path to Profitability

By Penelope Muse Abernathy

264 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 2 figs, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7669-2
    Published: January 2023
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-1542-4
    Published: April 2014
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-1543-1
    Published: April 2014
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-4752-2
    Published: April 2014

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America's community newspapers have entered an age of disruption. Towns and cities continue to need the journalism and advertising so essential to nurturing local identity and connection among citizens. But as the business of newspaper publishing collides with the digital revolution, and as technology redefines consumer habits and the very notion of community, how can newspapers survive and thrive? In Saving Community Journalism, veteran media executive Penelope Muse Abernathy draws on cutting-edge research and analysis to reveal pathways to transformation and long-term profitability. Offering practical guidance for editors and publishers, Abernathy shows how newspapers can build community online and identify new opportunities to generate revenue.

Examining experiences at a wide variety of community papers--from a 7,000-circulation weekly in West Virginia to a 50,000-circulation daily in California and a 150,000-circulation Spanish-language weekly in the heart of Chicago--Saving Community Journalism is designed to help journalists and media-industry managers create and implement new strategies that will allow them to prosper in the twenty-first century. Abernathy's findings will interest everyone with a stake in the health and survival of local media.

About the Author

Penelope Muse Abernathy, formerly an executive with the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times was Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2008-2020.
For more information about Penelope Muse Abernathy, visit the Author Page.


"[Saving Community Journalism] may help community newspapers turn the corner."--Newspaper Association of America

“Sophisticated and detailed.”--Columbia Journalism Review

"The engaging style and practical examples in this book will appeal to both journalists and scholars."--Library Journal

"A must-read for anyone interested in a practical, specific guide to developing a business and editorial strategy for newspapers going forward."--Goodreads

"Lots to think about and discuss here. . . . A how-to-book that offers hope where so much is increasingly dim.”--King Features Weekly

"The decline of journalism--by which I mean people who are paid to find out the truth--is one of the tragedies of the 21st century. There is no single antidote, but Saving Community Journalism offers the beginnings of an answer for smaller news organizations. Abernathy's insights are particularly valuable because she is one of a rare breed that understands both business and journalism."--Alan Murray, CEO, FORTUNE Media