After hearing from the Cazenovia panel it is obvious there is a serious need for an ambitious, community-based newspaper that can tell their stories in a modern and appealing way without alienating the more traditional and slow paced members of the town.
The audience is a very tight knit community that obviously like to see themselves in the news, so the paper should reflect that and be hyper local, finding the stories, even the small, simple ones, within the community. The audience also knows that they live in a beautiful town and like to brag about it. As such, photojournalism would be a boon in the paper.
Though the town is largely commuter, a tabloid wouldn’t be necessarily needed, as there is no mass transit in town.
The readers of the paper are also mainly adults who, for the most part, are well off. Young adults are largely non-existent in Caz, though students in high school would be interested in the paper if they or their friends were featured.
I get a sense that business is very important to the town, as many of the businesses there are locally owned. It was also made evident that a main issue for the town is a declining tax base and the wariness of allowing national chains to open up shop in town. A business section that gave updates on local happenings in local business, a column on how to be a successful business owner, and relevant national trends could be something included.
The audience said they’d prefer a larger weekly that informed them of the many activities taking place in town in addition to sections highlighting the arts, business, lots of opinions, profiles of people in town and definitely localized national stories.
With that being said I propose a weekly Berliner-sized paper to satisfy all the needs of the community. Color would be used with some restraint and be warmer as opposed to loud and bright. High quality photos of the town, events and the like would take a more prominent role in the paper. Local commentary and columns from experts, like the woman who knows all about locally grown food can write about food, would also be used to invite more dialogue in the town.
Overall the newspaper the paper should inform the community on what they can do in town every week, see what people in town did last week, learn about the diverse people in town through profiles, provide a space for discussion and dissent, and go beyond the ‘rockwellian’ surface of the town that everyone already knows about.