What if you stop telling the news? Would it matter?

Hoy did a story a few days ago about pawn shops in Little Village. It reported on local folks’  opposition to adding another such business in their community, and their councilman’s support for a new pawn shop.

Normal reporting. Then it went a step further. It did some research which showed that if the Zoning Committee approves the pawn shop, Little Village would have more pawn shops than any other community in the city.

This is the kind of reporting that tells readers they are getting information they would not get elsewhere. Reporting that shows the publication is looking out after them.

Hearing Penny Muse Abernathy talk at our workshop Monday on business strategies for the ethnic news media, the Hoy story suddenly came to mind.

There are a number of ways to cement the bond between readers and a newspaper, but one of the most important is convincing folks that you are essential to them. That’s how you build reader loyalty. And that’s how you go from just surviving to thriving, she said.

And so, you have to ask yourself what is that you that makes your work essential – so essential your readers would miss you.

This was our first of three workshops on business strategies for the ethnic news media. The next is Monday, August 29th. We will meet from 9 a.m. to 1 pm at our offices at 218 S. Wabash, Chicago. The sessions are free, thanks to the McCormick Foundation.

Penny, a former business executive for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, teaches at the University of North Carolina.

Here is a page which describes her work, and the two links on the page include her power point presentation for our sessions and a video of one newspaper which benefitted from her efforts.




If you would like to join us for the upcoming sessions, contact me, Steve Franklin, 312 369 7782 or steve@chicagoistheworld.org












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