New publications arrive in Joplin to ‘fill holes’

New publications arrive in Joplin to fill holes

Special to the Chart

New publications arrive in Joplin to ‘fill holes’

It’s new media, and it’s taking Joplin by storm.

There has been an uprising in media outlets across Joplin.

Publications such as the Joplin Tri-State Business Journal, The Joplin Herald, The Joplin and The Current have all made an appearance to the Joplin community in recent months.

Apparently, the rise in media all at once is coincidental.

“The timing for all these publications starting all at once was kind of odd,” said John Hacker, editor of the “I really don’t know if it was coincidental, or if it was just something that happened.”

Though the timing may be coincidental, many of these papers described the reasons for creating the publications as an attempt by publishers to fill “holes” in the Joplin community.

“The publishers [of the] felt there was a niche or a hole for community news [in Joplin],” Hacker said. “[The Joplin Globe] does a good job of what it does, but it also has 12 to 15 reporters covering eight counties, or close to 200,000 people. That’s the goal of this paper-to be Joplin’s source of community news.”

“All the big cities, like Tulsa and Kansas City, have a weekly entertainment guide where someone could pick it up and read what’s going on for the week,” said Lance Allen, owner and publisher of The Current. “I got the idea from working around [Joplin]. In working around town, I found out about a lot of neat things that were going around that weren’t being advertised. I just thought that this with its surrounding area and Joplin being the center of this huge circle, with a 30 to 40-mile radius, has so much stuff going on within it. Not to knock on the other publications, but they only tend to cover things within their territory.”

The Globe, Joplin’s original news publication, had several reactions to the arrival of these new publications.

“Frankly, we knew that the competition was coming,” said Carol Stark, metro editor of the Globe. “The main focus of the Globe is to be a regional paper. The Herald allows us to cover Joplin news only, and, frankly, some of it is ‘softer’ news, but it allows us an avenue in which to represent Joplin.”

Stark also said the Globe would continue to do what it “does best” which is reporting “more in depth, hard hitting news”.

With more publications in a small area comes added pressure for a publication.

“Competition really has more of an effect on the advertising side,” Hacker said. “Of course, we look at the Globe, the Herald, and the TV stations to see what they’re writing about. But, one of things about being a newspaper is that you want to be first in delivering the news breaks, because then your publication will be where the people look for their news.”

Some other publications see this as competition as positive.

“[The Tri-State Business Journal] welcomes the competition,” said Clarissa French, editor-in-chief of The Tri-State Business Journal. “We love it, because it is a chance for us to grow, to improve upon many levels, and is nothing but good for the readers.”

As for the Globe, their reaction is one of confidence.

“[The Globe] has always had competition with the three television stations in the area,” Stark said. “As far as any ‘in-town’ competition up until now, we have been the low player on the block. Now, do we wonder what the other papers are writing about? No, we just do what we do and make sure we’re doing a good job of it.”

Many of these publications predict increased online periodicals with blogs, updated news hourly [instead of daily] and editorials in the very near future.

“However, I still think newspaper will continue to be a strong venue,” Stark said. “We actually reported a [newspaper] circulation increase last year. Since we live in a very traditional area, newspaper is what they know and what they like.”