Questions You’ve Raised

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

Recent Writing

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.

What’s happened to nuts and bolts of public safety reporting?

Crime and public safety are garnering more headlines across the country. Law enforcement and racial disparities in the criminal justice system are under increasing scrutiny. Newspapers play a key role in examining the dynamics in their own communities.

Use your special insight to recommend election choices

Coverage of public affairs – recording the actions and inactions of governing bodies from local to federal levels – demands attention from newsrooms year-round. And for good reason. Elected officials regularly debate and craft public policies that affect citizens’ everyday lives.

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




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”