ARE YOU A POTENTIAL MEMBER OF THE LONE SHEEP FAMILY? READ THIS SHORT Q&A AND FIND OUT
Does your community currently have a vital local newspaper? Y/N
If you've ever looked at your local newspaper and felt that it wasn't doing the job—that it wasn't reflecting the life and values of you and your neighbours, that it wasn't providing a proper forum for debate and discussion about local issues—your town may be a candidate for a Lone Sheep newspaper.
Do you ever get the feeling that your local newspaper exists primarily as something to wrap around flyers? Y/N
If so, your community probably needs a real place for both news and the exchange of views. Consider starting a Lone Sheep newspaper.
Are you sick of the tons of paper wasted every year through the production of old fashioned print newspapers and flyers? Y/N
If so, do something about it. Start an online newspaper and help hasten the inevitable end of disposable print.
Are you community and business-minded? Y/N
A Lone Sheep newspaper requires two kinds of skill sets to grow and thrive: those of a writer/editor with a strong sense of commitment to their community and those of an entrepreneur who is interested in building a thriving local business. Sometimes these qualities are found in one person; other times they are found in two people working as partners. What's undeniable is that both skill sets are essential to the running of a successful newspaper.
A Lone Sheep newspaper is never purely a business venture. Its conception and operation needs to be fuelled by passion. At the same time, a Lone Sheep newspaper is also a terrific business opportunity—a chance to make an income while serving your community. It doesn't get much better than that!
Some of the best candidates for Lone Sheep franchises are already in the print newspaper business—exceptional reporters and editors who are frustrated by the limitations imposed by chain newspapers' editorial policies and declining budgets. These people went into the field of journalism with some sense of idealism and see a Lone Sheep franchise as the way back to their original goals and dreams.
* * *
If you answered 'Yes' to all four of the above questions, you might be the sort of person we're looking for. If so, please read the following.
How does it work?
The Lone Sheep network is a series of independently-owned newspapers linked together so as to be able to share content, ads, and resources.
Franchises are now available on a town-by-town and region-by-region basis. Our model works on a regional basis in that local papers are linked together primarily by region. Each region links to other regions on a provincial level. And so forth.
Here at Lone Sheep we believe that a free and responsive press is an essential component of any healthy, functioning community. The consolidation of media power in the hands of a few chains has both weakened civic discourse and our democracy at their most crucial level: the local. Nowadays chain newspapers tend to feature piped in news and editorial content and a minimum of local news. As for editorial content, many if not most local newspapers are now almost entirely lacking in this vital aspect of a newspaper's job.
The rise of the Internet means that the means of news production are now equally available to all. There is no longer a legitimate reason why the provision of local news should be in the hands of non-local interests. A Lone Sheep online newspaper can stand beside any corporate chain newspaper and claim to be its equal--or superior—on the technical front. As for the content—well, that's where you come in.
If your local paper isn't up to much, it shouldn't be hard to beat. And on the Internet, the best content gets the most traffic and generates the most revenue through ad sales. A no-brainer.
Okay, I'm interested. What next?
If you are interested in talking more, just use our contact form to drop us a line.
We'll get back to you quickly: we're passionate about what we do and love to hear from people who feel the same.