MAP: WHY LOCATION MATTERS
Oftentimes when discussing news deserts, we are talking about a national problem. State, county and community cultures can be overlooked in this discussion. When looking at the news environments in rural Nevada, a variety of perspectives emerge from town to town. Concerns, triumphs and outlooks differ, some based on the geography of the area and some on the business models in place. Nevada itself is a unique state due to it being largely rural. This makes the problem of concentrated news, where the news outlets are primarily based in one or two urban areas, a big problem in Nevada. However, there are also areas that are thriving in this new media landscape.To see what is happening in a particular area, click on the point on the map to be taken to info on the town and its newspaper. All images were collected from Library of Congress's Chronicling America and Newspaper Archive accessed through the Washoe County Library System. To see the newspaper archives for each paper, click on the image of the paper. To see the current newspaper publication, click on the newspaper's name.
Gardnerville, Nevada and surrounding areas
The Record Courier has served the Carson Valley since July of 1880. The Record Courier's current editor Kurt Hildebrand in the spring of 2021 said the Record Courier was in a similar situation to many newspapers. They were short-staffed, he had to work overtime, and rarely had time off. Despite this, the Record Courier does manage to stay afloat. Hildebrand mentioned that he did think that The Record Courier was in a unique situation in terms of other areas in Nevada, because Gardnerville is close to the more urban area of Reno and the state capital of Carson City. For that reason, Gardnerville may seem less rural than towns in central Nevada and on occasion gets coverage from the more urban areas. Hildebrand also mentioned his worries of finding someone to take his position after he retires because at the time he was doing the bulk of reporting.
Alamo, Pioche, Panaca, and Caliente, Nevada
and surrounding areas
Originally named The Pioche Record after the county seat , The Lincoln County Record started publishing in 1870. The weekly newspaper serves five thousand residents throughout the 6,609 square miles that make up Lincoln County. The owner of Nevada Central Media, the company that owns The Lincoln County Record, Ben Rowley, said that the paper has gone through many transformations as the county itself has transformed. Towns once known for railroads and gunfights are now tourist towns or homes to people who commute to Las Vegas or the Nevada Test and Training Range (Area 51) for work. Rowley works with a handful of freelance reporters throughout the county to cover county board meetings, school board meetings, and high school and community events. The paper has a print and online subscription service. Rowley said that the Lincoln County Record is fairly successful, and attributes that to establishing a relationship with readers by providing content they want to pay for. "People don't really want to read boring press releases from some agency, they want real journalism from real writers about the community," said Rowley.
Fallon and Fernley, Nevada
Steve Ranson, the editor of the Lahontan Valley Times, emphasized the importance of understanding what is important to a community. Reporters who did not see the value of covering a high school basketball game did not see the values of a community. People want to hear about their kids, the school's accomplishments and the people living in the community. Another media outlet in this area, The Fallon Post, was remarked by the executive director of the Nevada Press Association, Richard Karpel, as a part of a phenomena he saw in Nevada: that there was an uptick of news outlets opening in Nevada during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hawthorne and Walker Lake, Nevada as well as surrounding areas
The Mineral County Independent was bought by Battle Born Media, the newspaper publisher that also prints the Sparks Tribune, Mesquite Local News, The Eureka Sentinel, and the Ely Times, in 2011 from the resident "Hughes Brothers", Frank, Ted and Tony. Heidi Bunch, who ran the Mineral County Independent News from Hawthorne until she was laid off after the COVID-19 pandemic, said in March 2021 that she did not think there was a local reporter in Mineral County since her layoff. Though there was a noticeable gap in coverage from March 2021 to November 2021, the Mineral County Independent did have a full issue on their website published on November 4, 2021.
Goldfield, Pahrump and Tonopah, Nevada
The Tonopah Times-Bonanza & Goldfield News is published through the Pahrump Valley Times. Though both towns are in Nye County, Tonopah is 167 miles northwest of Pahrump, which is about 63 miles from Las Vegas. Due to the distance, small staff and lack of resources, the Pahrump Valley Times does not always cover the stories important to Tonopah citizens. However, the Pahrump Valley Times does have an exceptional,
The Reno-Gazette Journal, founded in 1870 as the Nevada State Journal, is the leading daily newspaper in northern Nevada. It was bought by Gannett Company Inc., a large media company that also prints USA Today, in 1977. Though the Reno-Gazette Journal is the only print newspaper in Reno, the second largest city in Nevada benefits from a variety of online, radio and television newsrooms within its community.
Las Vegas, Nevada
The two largest newspapers in the state by circulation, the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Las Vegas Sun have had an intense rivalry that has not stopped despite the Joint Operating Agreement the two newsrooms entered into in 1989 under the U.S. Newspaper Preservation Act to "to keep the Sun afloat" according to Jeff German, a reporter for the Review-Journal and a former reporter for the Sun. The Review-Journal handled printing and distribution, both newsrooms shared advertising revenue, but the two newsrooms remained separate in terms of reporting teams, content and ownership. In 2019, the Sun filed a lawsuit against the Review-Journal for not providing the amount promised in profit-sharing payments and not including the Sun in promotional and marketing materials, thereby violating the JOA. The Review-Journal then filed court papers seeking to end the JOA with the Sun, saying that the Sun failed to provide a newspaper of high-quality, thereby violating the JOA as well. It is not surprising that the thirty-year-old JOA dissolved, as neither newsroom anticipated the dramatic shift in the media landscape. With the changing relationship between the Review-Journal and the Sun, as well as the death of the Review-Journal's owner Sheldon Adelson in January 2021, the future seems uncertain for the two newspapers.
White Pine News, a newspaper that moved between six different mining camps in eastern Nevada, including Ely. The White Pine News ceased publication in 1923 and now the community is served by the weekly newspaper The Ely Times. The Ely Times is part of Battle Born Media LLC, a company that publishes four other newspapers throughout the state. It has a print readership of about 6,500 and an online audience of around 13,000
The Eureka Sentinel has served the Eureka community since 1870. Today, the newspaper is part of Battle Born Media LLC and serves a print readership of about 900 in Eureka and surrounding areas in eastern Nevada.
The Elko Independent was founded in 1869, when Elko was just a townsite in the beginnings of becoming a railroad town. Today, the Elko Daily Free Press provides online and print news to the citizens of Elko.
Battle Mountain, Nevada
The Central Nevadan served the then small, bustling freight depot from 1885 to 1907. Today The Battle Mountain Bugle, along with a few small papers in central Nevada, is part of the Nevada News Group. It is printed and distributed out of Winnemucca through the Winnemucca Publishing Company.
Winnemucca, named after the respected Northern Paiute Chief, began as a settlement created to help wagon trains headed to the Sierra Nevadas fledge the Humboldt River during the 1860s. At that time the Humboldt Register served the community. After the Humboldt Register suspended its publication several newspapers came and went including the Winnemucca Republican, the Daily Silver State, the Silver State, and the Humboldt Star. Today, the over-century-old Winnemucca Publishing Company still serves Winnemucca and surrounding areas as a printer and distributor of newspapers. The Humboldt Sun is part of the Nevada News Group and has a print newspaper, as well as an online presence.