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A chain of small newspapers hits on a formula for growth

Joe Smyth implemented a new model of running a newspaper chain that has proved successful. He set up a nonprofit to own the chain, “guaranteeing the dividend demands of shareholders or high profit-margin expectations of hedge funds would never crimp the journalism.” So far, it’s working: nonprofit news company Independent Newsmedia Inc. operates 25 newspapers in small communities in four states that are lacking in local news sources, where it “focuses on local news, eschews editorials, and doesn’t endorse political candidates.”

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