The Books

Journalism Primer

Community news is delivered in an assortment of venues by individuals with varying backgrounds and skills. One premise is constant if news providers are to connect with their readers: Stories must be timely, relevant and substantive. This book is your toolbox to practical and effective community journalism. For the rookies, this book offers the ABCs to covering the gamut of headlines from proclamations to business news to local public affairs. For the veterans, use this book to test and tweak some of the things you’ve been doing all along. For everyone, if you can take away one or two fresh ideas for coverage, your news product – and, most important, your readers and community – will benefit.

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Print Edition $14.99  Buy on Amazon

eBook Edition $9.99  | Amazon | Apple  |  Barnes & Noble 

Votes and Quotes: A Guide to Outstanding Election Campaign Coverage

When election time comes around, newspapers are faced with the demanding and highly scrutinized task of effectively and ethically providing election coverage, often with limited resources. This book guides newsrooms in formulating a plan for covering elections – before, during, and after – and how to consider the impact of coverage on readers. It covers a wide range of issues including being consistent in reporting candidate announcements, handling letters to the editor, and offering editorial endorsements.

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Print Edition $18.95

Bad News and Good Judgment: A Guide to Reporting on Sensitive Issues in a Small-Town Newspaper

This book underscores that there is a place – in fact, a need – for community newspapers to remain aggressive in their reporting if they are to remain relevant in today’s fractured media landscape. That is at the core of editors receiving the respect of readers. But that aggressiveness must be paired with a respect for the people being covered, and an understanding of how reports affect them. The guidelines set forth are not an attempt to convince editors that one newspaper’s approach is the right way or only way. But it’s imperative that newsrooms have the conversation about why it’s important to tackle tough issues.

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Print Edition $18.95


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.

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