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Two communities provide funds to keep newspapers going

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: March 13, 2014

Two communities, one in Wisconsion and another in North Carolina, are financially supporting local newspapers to maintain a journalistic presence, according to an article this week in Columbia Journalism Review.

Elected officials in Fitchburg, a suburb of Madison, Wisc., decided to provide $30,000 to restart the presses of the Fitchburg Star, which had stopped printing five years ago. Free monthly copies of the Star will be sent to every business and residence in the town for the rest of this year.

The city council in Winston-Salem, N.C. voted to approve a $100,000 low-interest loan to the Winston-Salem Chronicle, a weekly newspaper that focuses on the African-American community. The newspaper will use the money to increase its sales staff and try to improve sales and circulation.

The two unrelated deals happened within weeks of each other. Columbia Journalism Review ponders whether this is a potential trend -- and an ethically troubling one -- for the struggling newspaper industry.

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