In the latest post on his Southwest Region News Service blog, Burton takes umbrage at a student with the independent University of Missouri newspaper, The Maneater, who put down all small weekly newspapers:
Big city journalism does not always mean better journalism. In fact, good weekly newspapers that practice quality community journalism are having business great success and are about the only newspapers in the nation seeing circulation increases.
I've detailed some of that success of weekly newspapers in this blog before. Journalism needs more of the community/local reporting that takes place at weekly and rural newspapers.
Burton hits the nail right on the head. While obviously not every article written for a small weekly or daily newspaper is an award-winner, the quality of work is often quite high, and on many occasions is as good or better than what is published in big-city newspapers.
A good small town newspaper is a treasure. I was lucky enough to have worked for two (though I await the comments from those who have low opinions of the Lamar Democrat of the 1980s and The Carthage Press of the 1990s).