Ski town newspapers are vital to the health of mountain communities
Black, white, and read all over
When I arrived in Lake Tahoe five years ago at age 30, I was seeking something… dare I say… professional? I lucked out with a job at Truckee’s indefatigable monthly newspaper, Moonshine Ink, where I wrote about powder pursuits and local issues.
I was pleasantly surprised by how many locals looked to us for news. Nevertheless, an omnipresent struggle presented itself on how to relay to the public—especially the younger audience—the evergreen value of a newspaper against the quickhit appeal of updates on a smartphone.
Plus, the revenue challenges outside of that are enough to grind down even the sturdiest publication. How to keep ad money rolling with Craigslist, Facebook, and Google? How to stay timely for a monthly publication when the internet updates itself every few seconds?
I don’t know if we figured out any end-all answers, but it was obvious why our paper and others like it are as vital as steep north-facing terrain and latenight happy hours.
Ski town papers offer local insight in a way that distant web-based media outlets can’t, and I think we can all agree that Facebook just doesn’t cut it. The papers and their reporters get your town and work really hard for little pay to make sure everything gets coverage, from deep-dives into local elections, to avalanche accidents, to senior citizen profiles, and junior freeride comps. When a particularly noteworthy event happens, the local reporters are often the first ones to get the facts out nationally, via print and digital, often guiding the conversation about the doings and doers in ski towns. All you have to do to reap their benefits is subscribe or grab one at the coffee shop.
What follows is just a few ways local rags can help you learn WTF is going on in your town.