Vulture capitalists have struck again, picking the bones of several Minnesota newspapers clean and now leaving them to die.

Hundreds of newspapers across the country have either closed or downsized, with industry experts estimating over a quarter of all U.S. newspapers have ceased operations in the past twenty years.

Three of the Newspapers Operated For a Combined 460 Years

That's nearly half a millennia of operation for just three Minnesota newspapers.

Those newspapers:

  • Shakopee Valley News (160 years)
  • Chaska Herald (160 Years)
  • Jordan Independent (140 Years)

Other papers stopping their presses this month include the Chanhassen Villager, Prior Lake American, Savage Pacer, and Southwest Saturday.

Towns outside the metro will lose the Crow River Press in Hutchinson and the Litchfield Independent Review.

COVID Hastened the Seemingly Inevitable

Ad revenue - the biggest source of income for newspapers - had been steadily dropping since that misinformation superhighway called The Internet began its ascension to Word Salad Dominance.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, ad revenue quickly dropped another 25 to 50 percent. Newspapers tried to keep the presses rolling by cutting back on publication schedules. Unfortunately (especially for small communities that count on their local newspaper for community happenings), revenue hasn't returned.

How You Can Help Keep Your Local Newspaper Pressing

If your local newspaper publishes stories online behind a paywall, subscribe to it. The cost is usually pennies-on-the-dollar compared to subscriptions of physical newspapers.

When you see a local business advertising with the local paper, be a patron of that business and tell them where you saw their ad.

I'll reiterate: tell the business where you saw their ad.

This lets the business know the advertising money they squeeze out of their already-squeezed budget is well-spent.

Involving the community may only delay the inevitable, but we need to try.

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