BOSTON (CBS) -- Early next month, the Gannett Newspapers will close down the print editions of 19 weekly papers in eastern Massachusetts. So where does that leave local journalism in the state?
"I think it's pretty significant because Gannett weeklies are the way that many, many communities in eastern Massachusetts get their local news. Now I think that their decision to move away from an emphasis on print and say 'please subscribe on digital,' that would be a perfectly fine thing to do except that they had already hollowed out these papers for the most part. Already these were pretty much what you would call ghost newspapers with very little local news in them. As [Jon Keller] mentioned, most of the local reporters are being assigned to regional beats. The end of print, in a lot of these communities, is really the least of it," said Northeastern journalism professor Dan Kennedy.
He said people can still find local news, they just need to look elsewhere.
"I was astonished at how much is actually out there. I knew about a lot of it but there's more than I even thought. I do think that local news is alive and well in Massachusetts," said Kennedy.
Northeastern has compiled some sources here.
The Provincetown Independent is one of two newspapers serving that region of the Cape. "They have this really interesting hybrid, the hybrid of print and digital, they still are able to attract local advertising, and it's a hybrid of for-profit and non-profit. It's a for-profit paper but they have a non-profit arm that pays for certain types of accountability journalism in the community. It's a really promising setup, they hope to get up to 20 reporters in a few years. We're really hoping for the best from them," said Kennedy.
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