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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

o-CNN: Cowboy News Network - Tiny Newspapers

Local Journalist (Re)Invents the News

Peter Worden is the Nanton Experiment Editor-in-Chief, publisher, reporter and in charge of general office morale (office of one, as far as we can tell). We caught up with him in Revelstoke B.C. This is his winter hideout, where he shelters from the biting icy Nanton prairie winds. There could also be a woman involved, but we didn't dare to ask, and saw nothing.

Peter shares our Cowboy News Network opinion that a whole lot of local community news is going missing, because our media in small-town Canada is no longer "local media". Most of the newspapers and radio stations in our towns and cities are owned and operated by large out-of-town media conglomerates. They are too much profit and circulation driven, and hence miss the truly valuable and inspiring stories of the people in the community.

To fill the void, he struck on an innovative idea to go tiny, in a tiny town. He publishes the Nanton Experiment, which claims to be Canada's biggest tiny newspaper. More recently he also took on the responsibilities for the Reved, which covers arts, adventure and all things awesome in Revelstoke.

In line with his recent success with the Nanton Experiment, the Reved now also boasts a "Quarter, 1/4'ly". The headline for this quarter is a downtown marriage ceremony slated for 22 May, to which "...the whole world is invited". The tiny newspaper comes complete with instructions on how to make Revelstoke the eloping mecca for people on a budget.

We asked Peter if there is enough news to cover in these small towns. He assured us that the beauty of his endeavour is that, as with most news in small towns, it has a tendency to grow and get more interesting with time. "Stories get bigger, and before you know it, you can skate (publish) with the rest of the more mainstream and national media, by make things up as you go.

We plan to catch-up with Peter again later in summer. His efforts are definitely putting the spotlight on our communities, and we are eager to contribute in our way to his mission.

In the mean time, enjoy the introduction in this post and video.

Hendrik van Wyk
Cowboy News Anchor

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