The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute is showcasing innovative ideas that were shared at the 2014 Walter B. Potter Sr. Conference for community newspapers. If you like ideas such as these, we encourage you to attend the 2016 Potter Conference, which will be held April 14 and 15 at RJI in Columbia, Missouri.

Joplin (Mo.) Globe readers not only have an appetite for breaking news, but also history — local, state and national. Since 2008, the newspaper has produced eight original history series and monetized its content with sponsors.  

Last year the newspaper published 20 weekly profiles about famous baseball players from the area. Previous series included Our Historic Missourians, Our Founding Fathers and Our Community in 100 Objects. When the first series — on U.S. presidents — ran eight years ago, Globe Editor Carol Stark said she had no idea the daily installments would become so popular.

“However, I found our people  [readers] just ate them up,” she says. “Some of them made scrapbooks for their grandchildren.”

Revenue and cost to produce

The 2008 presidents series netted $36,000 in advertising. A similar presidents series was published in 2012 and generated $32,000. The revenues since have ranged from $8,000 and $24,000 per series. Stark says she believes the state of the economy is discouraging sponsors from supporting the series to the extent they did in 2008. The main expense to publish the series comes from paying an outside writer to produce the content, which the newspaper has done several times. 

Learn what it takes to produce a history series

Jennifer Nelson  
Senior Information Specialist


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