The very first thought that ran through my mind when I got to Cazenovia was that it is a small town with a very tight and friendly community. The population is primarily white, lacking ethnic diversity; however, there are people with different and interesting backgrounds. It also has a socio-economically diverse group of people. Although it seems as though it is mostly comprised of middle class people, there are also those who are in desperate need of financial help. Many of the residents do not work in Cazenovia; they usually commute to work.
Overall, the people in the community are very active. Because of the beauty of Cazenovia, many enjoy outdoor sports, such as snowshoeing, skiing, horseback riding, sailing and swimming. Furthermore, it is definitely a family-oriented community. Children play a large role in uniting the community. Parents get to meet and know others through their children’s school events.
In regards to the local newspaper, the readers are mostly adults (young adults and children do not read the paper). The panel said that it is usually a quick 3-minute read, and most of the news is about school.
Based on the information gathered from the panel discussion, I think that a weekly tabloid-sized newspaper would be suitable. Since the majority of them work, a tabloid-sized paper would be easy to carry around and flip through; they also preferred to receive a weekly paper.
In my opinion, the local newspaper should be able to reflect the personality of the community. There should be a fresh, new look, but something that’s not too overwhelming for the age groups of the readers. In addition, it should not follow the traditional newspaper grid format; this will enable more creativity and show the artsy side of the community. Overall, the publication should have a friendly feel, using soft pastel colors. High-quality images and photos (instead of the pixelated ones in the Cazenovia Republican) should be used to portray the beauty of the town. Also, the sections of the publication should be well organized, so that the readers can easily flip through to find information. These sections should include, but not be limited to: arts and recreation, sports, environment and nature, “glocal” news, upcoming community events/activities, and profiles of Cazenovia residents. Moreover, the paper should cover a broad range of topics that concern not just a portion of the town but the whole community – the school district, village and town.
At last, the local newspaper should not only inform people of what’s going on in the area, but also provide some entertainment. One of the panel members stated that reading the Cazenovia Republican is just like reading a textbook. This can be prevented through stories that focus more on people, along with an innovative and professional design.