Where small-time journalism digs out big-time corruption

“Yancey County is located in the mountainous western stretch of North Carolina, about 45 minutes from Asheville. The county’s population is less than 18,000, and yet it has two local papers: the Yancey Common Times Journal, which has been in publication more than a hundred years, and the ‘other’ newspaper, the Yancey County News, founded in 2011.

“The paper’s masthead lists only two people — husband and wife Jonathan and Susan Austin — but nevertheless, its first year out the Yancey County News has won two major journalism awards… for stories reporting on corruption in the county’s official channels.”

— From “The Tiny Newspaper in North Carolina that Scooped up Journalism’s Big Prizes” in the Awl, June 8. (Hat tip to John L. Robinson at Media, Disrupted)

How exhilarating in the midst of such depressing newspaper news to be reminded what wonders can be achieved by two people with a press. Congratulations, Austins.


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