Long shielded from the pressure of Internet news competition, as well as classified competitors like Craigslist, rural newspapers have reportedly fared far better than their metropolitan counterparts. While newspapers in population centers saw growing competition from online startups in the past decade, rural newspapers have faced relatively little competition. (So-called hyper-local sites like AOL's Patch are clustered in metropolitan areas and altogether absent from rural areas in the West.)
As broadband Internet spreads into rural communities -- spurred by a $7 billion federal investment -- rural newspapers are increasingly facing a question encountered by their metropolitan counterparts a decade ago: What information should be offered online?
The article quotes Al Cross, among others.
And from Earl Wilkinson at INMA: "Why is relevance to audience such a sin for journalism?"
It has this provocative line: "Start rewarding “relevance” over “quality” in the culture of your company, notably the newsroom."