Delivery methods changing, purpose remaining


Annika Pepper

Locally printed newspapers in Peachtree City and Fayette County have reduced the amount of print papers they are producing. The role of local newspapers is changing due to the effects of technology.

Simone Bates, Staff Writer

The rise of the digital era over the years has been affecting how news is reported within small communities. Local newspapers have shifted their focus from printing papers to publishing them online.  

In the Fayette county area, there are two main newspapers, the Fayette County News, which is an online and print newspaper, and The Citizen, an online newspaper. 

Our role has been to be a source of local news for the Fayette community, the kind of news that will never show up on an Atlanta TV station.”

— Cal Beverly

The Citizen recently stopped producing print newspapers the week of Aug. 28. Although the local newspaper is not new to the digital world, and has actually been using its online platform since November 1996, it will now exclusively publish online. 

That priority began to shift in the past 10 years, with more emphasis on posting breaking news immediately, rather than waiting for the print deadline,” Cal Beverly, an editor at The Citizen, said. “With print now history, all our emphasis is online.”  

This shift is not a new occurrence for newspapers. Fayette County News has been printing two papers per week for the last 8 years. They have now switched to only printing one paper per week.

It becomes a challenge to make the decision to manufacture print newspapers for only one part of the community. Interest and investment affects companies significantly. 

“We decided to stop spending money on a money-losing product,” Beverly said. 

What local newspapers have taken into account is the focus of their audience. Local newspapers aren’t projected toward young adults. This shouldn’t discourage their role in the community, but there are multiple ways for people to get news faster now. 

Besides the newspapers’ online website they are using social media as well to get news out. For instance, Fayette County News has a Twitter and Facebook, while the Citizen has a Facebook.

“It is a communicator from one side of the county to the next,” Geneva Weaver, new owner and editor at Fayette County News, said. “There are still a lot of people in this county that do not use Facebook or hang on the internet or like to be on the computer constantly.“

Local newspapers are able to inform the community of what large newspapers won’t. It is not a prime focus for Atlanta newspapers to alert the public of what happens in Fayette County. 

Our role has been to be a source of local news for the Fayette community, the kind of news that will never show up on an Atlanta TV station,” Beverly said. “They are not much interested in the routine rezoning that might affect folks in Peachtree City, Fayetteville, Tyrone.” 

A local newspapers’ priority is to cover news in their local communities. Fayette County News and the Citizen will continue this path of reporting local news but with a different idea in mind. 

With easier and more efficient ways to get out news their focus has gone from printing to online.