A month after the Claremont Eagle-Times folded their print edition, the tiny New Hampshire town got another newspaper. Starting August 20, The Compass will roll off the presses as a weekly paper, providing local news for residents and jobs for former Eagle-Times reporters.
The new paper has already printed two editions — one came out less than two weeks after the Eagle-Times closed —with help from Eagle-Times staff who wanted to continue producing a community paper. Jeff Rapsis, the associate publisher of HippoPress, which is producing The Compass, said these first sporadic editions generated enormous response, with residents flocking to local stores for copies.
But according to Rapsis, what initially attracted readers to the paper wasn’t accounts of local yard sales or school board meetings:
This [Aug. 6 paper] was the first community paper in a month that had been publishing obits. So people were reading it, and they were gasping, because one or two or three people that they knew had died and they hadn’t heard about it.
In any case, a town has its newspaper back, propelled by the community and a promise from local advertisers, even though they say they still haven’t found permanent office space.