Extra! Extra! Read all about it: Online rural news source soon to add print version
An online news source in eastern Lane County is doing something many newspapers have stopped: The Highway 58 Herald is going to print.
When the newspaper in Oakridge folded in 2020, locals found themselves in a news desert. A few concerned citizens, including Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Doug Bates, set up a digital newspaper and it’s been a hit: Thirty-two thousand hits last month, to be exact.
Editor George Custer said readers from Pleasant Hill to Crescent Junction have said they want a printed version.
“A lot of newspapers are shutting down and going online only,” said Custer. “But I’ve announced this to our readership, (and) we’re gonna give it a try. Another thing too is that because of the requirements of the ONPA, the Oregon Newspaper Association, we cannot be a newspaper of record unless we print.”
The nonprofit Highway 58 Herald will hit the presses in late June. The first two issues will be free. After that, the bi-monthly paper will cost a buck.
Custer said the volunteer staff of The Herald hopes this experiment works.
“We do want to support our communities with timely, accurate, comprehensive, and unbiased news and information," he said. "Communities deserve no less. Areas without local news have a diminished sense of community connection, lower rates of civic engagement and higher rates of corruption and polarization.”
Custer said the Herald is only possible because of donations from readers. The online news source will remain unchanged. The printed version of the paper will be sold at selected newsstands in communities along an 87-mile stretch of Highway 58.
Copyright 2023 KLCC