Hometown News goes behind-the-scenes in the ways decisions are made in reporting the daily life of a seemingly pedestrian community – the kind of place where many of us grew up or perhaps resided. Focused on a family newspaper as it moves to a new generation of leadership, the novel builds on the aspirations of a core of young professional journalists. They share the ideal that aggressive reporting will foster grassroots democracy and an entrepreneurial vision as well as a widespread, healthy community. At most of the nation’s 1,500 daily newspapers, however, the bottom-line corporate outlook has meant that newsroom resources were squeezed to fatten corporate profits, even before the Internet began to erode paid readership. In that business model, readers and advertisers both got less and less for their money, and lively news from the neighborhood went untold. Unlike the Front Page tradition, today’s editors and writers have been stymied more by corporate bean-counters within than by Public Enemies without.
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