That’s not the case with part of the industry — African-American-owned newspapers — which are still going strong. Much of the success comes from changes in one of Austin’s mostly-black communities.
For 44 years, East Austin’s “The Villager” newspaper has been free of charge. That’s what Tommie Wyatt wanted when he started publishing the weekly, and he says it’s going to stay that way.
He says it has nothing to do with making money, and everything to do with news a community can use.
“Many people are shocked that we’re still surviving,” Wyatt said. “We’re stronger than ever because we’re printing news that you can’t get anywhere else. If we don’t print it, nobody will print it.”
The Villager, a free community service weekly, is distributed each Friday in neighborhood businesses, The University of Texas, Huston-Tillotson University, libraries, major supermarkets, churches, dining establishments, beauty shops, barber shops, pharmacies and newsstands in East Austin, Northeast Austin, Montopolis, Pflugerville, Round Rock and the surrounding areas.
The policy of The Villager is to publish a community paper that serves consumers and merchants in the Greater Austin Metroplex. With an emphasis on African Americans, The Villager focuses on community and national news, events, announcements and newsmakers, as expressed in general, political, business and sports news, along with editorials and comments. (Villager).