Questions You’ve Raised

Jim Pumarlo welcomes your questions. Click here to submit your question and receive a response.

Recent Writing

Are your news, ad departments on same page?

Editors often raise red flags – or at least hesitate – at requests for business news, and often for good reason.

Prime time to take inventory of your newsmakers

Here’s a periodic action item for every newspaper: The exercise can be quite revealing in evaluating how you are connecting with various audiences. It is even more important in today’s fractured media landscape and as everyday interaction can still be challenging in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Resolve to be accessible, stay relevant

Surviving in today’s fractured media landscape depends on your ability to identify, collect and deliver the relevant community news. That job becomes more challenging if readers become frustrated in their attempts to connect with reporters.

Are you transparent in your operations?

Newsrooms place a premium on ensuring that government is transparent in its decisions. When elected and appointed officials fall short, a commentary is almost sure to follow.

Robust public affairs coverage requires more than recording minutes

My formula for shaping newspaper content is straightforward: Present a blend of stories that people like to read and stories they should read. Under the “should read” category, consider me an advocate of vibrant coverage of local government.

Go beyond ‘votes and quotes’ when delivering election results

Newsrooms have toiled the past many weeks churning out stories to help voters make informed choices on Election Day. Now you’re ready to put the exclamation point on coverage.

Keep eye out for 11th-hour election volleys

Election Day is only weeks away. The hyper partisanship of races at all levels – from local to state to federal – demands that editors pay extra attention to press releases and letters to the editor. The editing and delete buttons on your keyboard are likely to get an extra workout.

How are you doing? Ask your readers

Regularly connecting with readers is at the heart of remaining relevant in today’s changing and challenging media landscape. The dynamics of staying in touch has been strained by the pandemic and forced isolation during the past two-plus years.

Plan now to recognize first responders

Are you looking for a project that can energize your news staffs, generate new advertising revenue and underscore the value of a local newspaper to potential new subscribers?

Single-source stories too often miss the mark of solid journalism

A regular flow of press releases demands editors’ everyday attention. The communications, in varying degree, play a role in newspaper content. Their value looms even larger in today’s landscape of diminishing newsroom resources.

Book endorsements

Anyone who has edited or published a community newspaper knows the most challenging and, often, agonizing part of the job is dealing with sensitive issues. I dealt with many issues like this during my career as an editor, and wished there was some type of guidance...

Seminar endorsements

I would like to thank Jim for contributing to the success of our first virtual convention. He delivered an engaging, well presented, and valuable online workshop for our membership! We had great attendance and I think that everyone took away a vast amount of...

 Who is Jim Pumarlo?

Community newspapers, at their best, are stewards of their communities. The news columns are a blend of stories that people like to read and stories they should read. The advertising columns promote and grow local commerce. And the editorial pages are a marketplace of ideas.

Jim Pumarlo understands that energized newspapers are at the foundation of energized communities. His message is straightforward: Community newspapers – whether delivering information in the print or on the Web – must focus on local news if they are to remain relevant to their readers and advertisers.

Click here for more info on Jim Pumarlo.

You’re welcome to reprint these columns with the appropriate tagline:

Jim Pumarlo writes, speaks and provides training on community newsroom success strategies. He is author of “Bad News and Good Judgment: A Guide to Reporting on Sensitive Issues in Small-Town Newspapers,” “Votes and Quotes: A Guide to Outstanding Election Coverage” and “Journalism Primer: A Guide to Community News Coverage.” He can be reached at and welcomes comments and questions at




9 – Online Media Campus
Webinar: “Business News as an Everyday Beat”



Minnesota Newspaper Institute and Bethel University, St. Paul

Five-part online course to train citizen journalists

Assisted in developing curriculum, and presented session on public affairs coverage and meeting reporting


8 – National Newspaper Association Foundation

Webinar: “Interviewing Skills: Techniques and Improving Observation in Volatile Situations”

Co-presenter with Corey Hebner, Michigan State Police community service trooper

2-3 – Texas Center for Community Journalism, Management Boot Camp

Presenter: “Finding Time for Editorial Projects”

Presenter: “Delivering What Your Community Wants: Connecting with Your Readers”

Panel participant: “Leading the Newspaper, Leading in Your Community”


5 – National Newspaper Association Foundation

Webinar: “Your Role in Election Coverage: Why You should be on the Front Lines”

Co-presenter with Al Cross, director of Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues

19 – National Newspaper Association Foundation

Webinar: “Outstanding Election Coverage: Identifying the Elements”

Co-presenter with Al Cross, director of Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues


28 – Minnesota Newspaper Association Convention

Panel participant: “Reconnecting with Your Community”



21 – Colorado Press Association/Kansas Press Association Joint Virtual Convention
Webinar: “Bad News and Good Judgment: A Guide to Reporting on Sensitive Issues”


11 – Alabama Press Association Media Summit & Winter Meeting
Webinar: “Business – an Everyday Beat”


15 – Wyoming Press Association Convention
Webinar: “How to make public affairs coverage relevant and timely”



30 – New England Newspaper and Press Association
Webinar: “Covering Business News in Challenging Times”

30 – California News Publishers Association
“Finding Time for Big Editorial Projects”