The Mario Blog

12.01.2019—1am    Post #15424
Want to own a newspaper? One available free in Alaska

It is not everyday that one can become the owner of a newspaper free of charge.

All kinds of dreamy ideas started swimming in my head when I read about The Skagway News and its current owner’s generous offer: to give it away for free to someone who cares to keep it going.

Alaska? Beautiful, but too distant for me.

But you may have a different idea.

The Skagway News is a newspaper published once a month in January, then twice a month for the rest of the year in Skagway, Alaska. The paper was established in 1897 and published until 1904, then revived in 1978. The paper is usually available on the second and fourth Friday of the month.

Its owner, Larry Persily, wrote a column announcing his intentions:

“I believe what’s best is a return to the traditional role of a small-town newspaper, where the editor is the owner and lives in town and is part of the community. That model has worked for decades in Ketchikan and Sitka, Wrangell and Petersburg, it worked when Jeff Brady owned The Skagway News and it works in Haines with the Chilkat Valley News.”

“An owner/editor who is active in the community and who knows the community and its residents can best reflect and represent those residents.”

What to do with a very local newspaper?

My interest in this story is obviously not that I would like to move to Skagway, Alaska.

However, I believe in the importance of local journalism, in the type of “across the fence” stories and conversations that are vital to people in small communities.

This could be a fun project to be “rediscovered and reshaped” in the mobile age. 

While The Skagway News appears monthly or twice a month in its print edition, and also has a website, I think that a new owner/editor/publisher might consider some type of daily newsletter, which would not have to be too long, maybe Three Things to know in Skagway today.

I would give the paper its mobile identity, with a nice S for Skagway.

I would recruit journalism students from the local high school to help with all things mobile.

And, indeed, I would make that summer guide to the area—which is a financial success for The Skagway News——a total mobile makeover, perhaps an app that would make it indispensable.

Here is an opportunity for someone young, a member of the Google generation to do some good with local journalism adapted to the modern era.

Oh, to be young and adventurous!

Read more about it here:

Listen to my chat with Tyler Brulé in Monocle 24 Radio’s The Stack

This episode of Monocle’s The Stack was recorded live during the launch of my book, The Story, in Zurich, November 20 before a live audience. Tyler Brulé and I talk about the state of the media today, the makings of The Story, as well as the meaning of doing print happily in the mobile first era. Tune in here:

From Monocle Weekend


Mario García

Editorial consultant Mario García has advised the most important newsrooms in the world on design – and how best adapt to a digital transition. More than 700 publications, from The Wall Street Journal to the South China Morning Post, have received his strategic steer. Other than being an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of Journalism, he also runs his own consultancy firm: García Media. Nowadays his speciality is how digital devices influence narrative structure and consumption; his latest book, The Story, was written specifically to be read on a phone. Here, though, he confesses to a few analogue pleasures.

What they are saying about The Story!

The Story is here!

You can now download my new mobile storytelling book, The Story, from Apple Books at $6.99
This is Book 1 of a Trilogy! The other two books coming soon.

The newspaper remains the most powerful source of storytelling on the planet. But technology threatens its very existence. To survive, the Editor must transform, adapt, and manage the newsroom in a new way. Order The Story by Mario Garcia, chief strategist for the redesign of over 700 newspapers around the world.

My chat with in Monocle Radio

Listen to my chat in Monocle Radio’s The Stack: Latest episode‘The Face’ and ‘The Story’:We welcome the return of the print version of ‘The Face’ and talk to legendary newspaper designer Mario Garcia about his latest book, ‘The Story’.

My interview with CNN en Español

I was a guest in the program Encuentro, hosted by Guillermo Arduino daily at CNN en Español. The interview was about how we read on mobile devices and my introduction of my new mobile storytelling book, The Story, to a Spanish-language audience.

Mario’s speaking engagements

November 20, 2019

Presentation of The Story in Zurich, Switzerland, at launch party (by invitattion only). Sponsored by Monocle The Stack.

March 13, 2020

Keynote presentation at the National Media College Association Spring Convention, New York City, NY>

Order print edition of The Story

You can order the print edition of my new mobile storytelling book, The Story, from Amazon already here:

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An interview of interest

TheMarioBlog post # 3167

The Mario Blog