The Winsted Citizen, a newspaper founded with Ralph Nader’s help, has shut down due to financial troubles, following a national trend of media closures and downsizing.
Challenges and Closure
The Winsted Citizen, a small Connecticut newspaper founded in February with Ralph Nader’s involvement, has faced financial difficulties and will be shutting down. Despite efforts to sustain the paper, an oversight board decided to close it down due to an ‘untenable deficit.’
Financial Struggles in Media Industry
The closure of the Winsted Citizen reflects the widespread challenges in the media industry, with declining ad and circulation revenue leading to the loss of nearly 2,900 newspapers since 2005 in the United States. The trend of closures and mergers is expected to continue, with approximately a third of U.S. newspapers projected to have shut down by the end of next year.
Ralph Nader’s Hopes and Investments
Ralph Nader, a notable consumer advocate and former presidential candidate, had envisioned the Winsted Citizen as a model for the country, emphasizing the value of local print newspapers. Nader invested $15,000 in the paper, aiming for sustainability through advertising, donations, and subscriptions. Despite publishing nine editions and increasing ad revenue and circulation, the paper struggled with financial viability.
Citizen’s Impact and Legacy
The Winsted Citizen, with its motto ‘It’s your paper. We work for you,’ sought to fill the void left by the closure of previous local newspapers. However, financial challenges led to staff members offering their services as donors due to under-capitalization. Despite its closure, the Citizen’s work may continue to be published through a partnership with ctexaminer.com, allowing former staffers a potential platform for their contributions.