Local news in crisis

For now, this is just a stack of bookmarks to stories about news deserts, “fake local” propaganda-for-profit sites, and small local sites to explore. I created this as a “page” in October 2020, then six months later had forgotten all about it and, out of frustration with layoffs at my local daily, went looking for alternatives and wrote a more streamlined blog post listing local Southwestern Virginia newspapers and sites with public information.

Encouraging developments in 2021:
Dusting off the all-but-ashes of The Roanoke Times and Richmond Times-Dispatch, experienced professional journalists have formed Cardinal News and The Roanoke Rambler, joining the Virginia Mercury in the Commonwealth’s not-for-profit news business. (Cardinal background.) Most of the state’s newspapers have lost staff, presence and reputation in the past decade of ownership by Berkshire-Hathaway and subsequently Lee Newspapers. Most recently (November 2021), Alden Capital, another company known for slashing and burning newspapers, made an offer for Lee six months after taking control of Tribune, which owns the state’s largest newspaper, The Virginian Pilot. on the coast in Norfolk, covering the Hampton Roads region.

Back to October 2020: Sorry that it is a bit of a jumble… I’m composing this with a new WordPress Android app and insertion of links in paragraphs is not what it used to be. Eventually I’ll open it on a full-size computer and do some editing.

inspired by a New York Times story this week, late October 2020. I’d like to add some more about my area in Southwestern Virginia, which I have been writing about on Facebook but not in this blog.

As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place https://nyti.ms/349RruY

Here Are the Hundreds of Sites in a Pay-to-Play Local News Network https://nyti.ms/3m7NTQ6

Hundreds of hyperpartisan sites are masquerading as local news. This map shows if there’s one near you.


October 2019




Virginia and West Virginia smaller news sites & chains

Ashley Spinks on local coverage: https://swvatoday.com/floyd/article_4e30beb0-096c-11eb-995a-430326bedf4c.html (Sadly, this story led to public radio interviewing Ashley about the trials and tribulations of editing a small local paper for a national chain. She was so candid in the interview that she was fired.)

Mountain Media, W.V. & SwVa.


OurValley.org (SW Virginia papers owned by Mountain Media, WV.)

June 4, 2020, closing of WV Daily News, according to Mountain Messenger

Boss Robot & Scot Refsland

New version (new ownership & staff?) West Virginia Daily News – wvdn.com

Older version of WVDN at the Way Back Machine.

Non-profit news from Richmond

Virginia Public Media

Virginia Mercury

The New River Voice

Progressive Chain, Acronym-linked

VA. Dogwood,


Courier Newsroom

Dogwood About page

Courier ethics page

SwVirginia papers…

Lee Newspapers non-dailies https://swvatoday.com/

The shrinking Lee-owned Roanoke Times, Roanoke.com

And Bristol Herald Courier

The Galax Gazette

And the Independence Declaration

Competition in Pulaski County



Virginian Leader, Giles County

Regional blogs

BlueRidge Muse

Email and Web Publishing sites

Floyd Forum, by Ashley Spinks Dugan


College papers




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