The Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University has just published an analysis of rural newspapers
that tracks the growth of that media category, from Boston's Publick Occurrences in 1690 to the over 10,000 publications in print today. "The community newspaper business is healthier than metro newspapers, because it hasn't been invaded by Internet competition," Al Cross, a rural journalism analyst at the University of Kentucky, told the researchers. "Craigslist doesn't serve these kinds of communities. They have no effective competition for local news. Rural papers own the franchise locally of the most credible information."