Rumors of our demise are exaggerated

      Scott Loftis

As almost everyone seems to know by now, this is the final print edition of the Lovely County Citizen.

That’s a decision that I reached with reluctance along with my partners after purchasing the Citizen and its sister publications from CherryRoad Media, effective Jan. 1.

We announced the decision in last week’s Citizen and we were candid about the reason: There’s simply not enough paid retail advertising from week to week to pay for printing more than 2,500 copies each week.

Our responsibility as owners is to look at the big picture, including all the publications now owned by Carroll County Community Media LLC as well as our employees. We simply can’t afford to continue printing the Citizen at a loss.

Let me be clear, however, the Citizen is not dying. Instead, we are shifting to an online- only format.

Almost immediately, the Facebook experts chimed in, many of them trying to explain something they simply don’t understand. And, of course, there were some who celebrated what they view as the Citizen’s demise. One of those was city council member Harry Meyer, who said simply: “Good riddance.”

Well, Mr. Meyer, I’m sure you don’t appreciate the fact that the Citizen actively covers the dysfunction of the Eureka Springs city government. (Maybe that’s because we’re the only newspaper in Eureka Springs that doesn’t depend on funding from the City Advertising and Promotion Commission.) Unfortunately for you, Mr. Meyer, and for anyone else who wishes we’d simply shut up and go away, that’s not what’s happening here.

Others lamented that the newspaper isn’t “fun” anymore and that another local publication seems to be much more “positive” in its coverage.

For the record, the purpose of a newspaper isn’t to be “fun” or “positive,” although I don’t have any particular objection to those descriptions as long as we fulfill our primary mission, which is to keep the citizens of Eureka Springs informed about what’s going on in their community. We don’t ignore news because it might upset the wrong person. We don’t look the other way because we’re beholden to advertising dollars. We don’t take a week off at random because we’re tired. We don’t write stories about things that are happening in Maryland.

We will continue to cover Eureka Springs, especially the Eureka Springs city government, just as we have for the past several years. The news will simply be available online rather than in print. In fact, it will be available online much earlier than it previously has been.

The people of Eureka Springs have a right to know what is going on within their government and we will continue our effort to keep local residents informed. The decision to halt the print newspaper was not one we wanted to make, but the simple reality is the ad support just hasn’t been there. If we see the potential for better advertising support, we will certainly consider reinstating the print edition. Right now, the math just doesn’t work. But we’re still here and we are still going to do our jobs.


Scott Loftis is managing editor for Carroll County Newspapers. His email address is