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Record Editorial: Despite reports, community newspapers are thriving

To paraphrase famed humorist (and newspaperman) Mark Twain, the news of our death has been greatly exaggerated.

Despite grim financial news from large dailies like the Minneapolis Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press, most small and mid-sized newspapers are doing fine.

Forum Communications Co., which owns DL Newspapers along with 34 other newspapers in North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, is a case in point.

Community newspapers are thriving.

It's time to tell the other side of the story regarding our industry.

This past week, we read about the decline of newspaper circulation in most of the major markets across the country. But, what we didn't read about is the readership increase that has taken place in other parts of the country in our print products and the expansion of our Web sites.

In The Forum market area, 74 percent of adults read our printed product or our newspaper Web sites -- seven days a week, Sunday through Saturday.

This is not a fluke. The percentage is typical of all newspaper markets our company serves.

We as a communication company feel it is time to speak out and give positive information about our industry to our readers.

No one delivers local news better than your daily and weekly newspapers. We, as an industry, understand the need to deliver the news to different demographics by various delivery methods, and we do that well.

We have developed Web sites for each of our markets to serve our online readers as well as our advertisers.

Forum Communications Co. Web sites, which include our online advertising products, delivered over 23 million page views last month, with over 5.2 million visits.

Our industry is alive and well and still considered the No. 1 means of delivering information to people in our communities.

Today, we do a better job than ever of delivering the news and advertising, because we can bring it immediately to our Web sites.

The fact is, the community newspaper business is still strong and vibrant.

And you can quote us on that.