News, community news, weekly newspapers, sustainability, business model, Camden Maine, Knox County Maine, Waldo County Maine, Mid-Coast Maine, Richard Anderson, VillageSoup, online news, alternative news media, Ligature, citizen journalism


In rural Camden, Maine, Richard Anderson has found a formula for sustainable news coverage in an age when the Internet seems to be killing the news business. He began by starting an online-only news site for the community in 1996, an ambitious and early web presence. By specializing in quick, hard news, community service, citizen involvement, and community leadership, Anderson built an audience for his VillageSoup website. But the community had a moribund weekly newspaper that soaked up much of the advertising revenue. After five years of online-only news, Anderson started his own weekly paper newspaper that republished his web content. Today, Anderson has a sustainable multimedia enterprise, and a business model that could serve as the savior for weekly newspapers in communities with a population around 30,000. VillageSoup may be the first genuine example of alternative news media reaching sustainability.

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