Introduction to Arkansas News Media
Arkansas is a state in the South-Central region of the United States that was admitted into the union on June 15th, 1836. It was the 25th state to be admitted to the country and is currently the 33rd most populous state in the United States. As per the latest citizenship survey conducted in 2018, Arkansas has a population of above three million. It is interesting to note that though Arkansas is a small state in terms of population and geographical area, it still is a significant market for newspapers & news websites.
As of 2020, there are more than 130 newspapers, dozens of weekly & monthly magazines, 250 commercial radio stations, and 23 commercial television stations.
The history of newspapers in Arkansas can be traced back to 1819 when its first newspaper, Arkansas Gazette was launched. William Edward Woodruff published Arkansas Gazette, and it first hit the newsstands on November 20th, 1819. Initially, the headquarters of Arkansas Gazette was in Arkansas County, the territorial capital. When the regional capital was shifted to Little Rock, William Edward Woodruff began publishing the newspaper’s Little Rock issue. The first Little Rock issue was published on December 29th, 1821.
Arkansas Gazette remained the only newspaper in the region until the second newspaper; The Arkansas Advocate was founded by Robert Crittenden, then acting governor of the Arkansas Territory.
Arkansas Advocate hit the newsstands on March 31st, 1830, and it soon became a significant competitor to the Arkansas Gazette. Many historians consider it to be the first newspaper war in Arkansas.
Within a short period, another newspaper Political Intelligencer was launched in the region. With the launch of Political Intelligencer in 1834, the newspaper war in Arkansas became worse.
The primary issue faced by these newspapers was the lack of news & limited circulation. Eventually, these newspapers had to find other ways to generate revenue. The primary source of income to these newspapers was revenue from job printing and government sources.
By the time Arkansas was officially declared a state, four newspapers were in circulation viz; Arkansas Gazette, The Arkansas Advocate, Political Intelligencer, and the Arkansas State Democrat. The years following 1836, when Arkansas officially became a State, many new newspapers began sprouting up. While some of them were short-lived, others went on to become leading newspapers.
In this article, we will have a look at the leading newspapers and news websites in Arkansas. We will also discuss some interesting facts & information about them.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is a prominent newspaper in Arkansas owned by the WEHCO Media, Inc. The paper was the result of a series of mergers and acquisitions that spanned almost 110 years. Owing to this, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is widely believed to be the oldest & continuously published newspaper.
Apart from being the first printed newspaper in Arkansas, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette also has an important place in its history. It was one of the predecessors of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, that led the campaign for Arkansas’ statehood. The newspaper also played a pivotal role in the Mexican–American War by campaigning for Texas’s independence.
The history of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette can be traced back to 1819 when William E. Woodruff founded the first press in the Arkansas Post region. It was from this press the first newspaper in Arkansas; The Arkansas Gazette was published in 1819. The Arkansas Gazette can be considered the first newspaper in the Arkansas region to lead a campaign for its statehood.
Dwindling circulation and drop in revenue had always troubled The Arkansas Gazette. Owing to this, William E. Woodruff lost the ownership of the newspaper. He started publishing a new newspaper named the Arkansas Democrat, which gained popularity within a few years.
William E. Woodruff acquired The Arkansas Gazette and combined it with Arkansas Democrat. The newspaper was renamed to Arkansas State Gazette after the merger. The years that followed witnessed the paper being bought by many media giants in the US.
WEHCO Media, Inc., the newspaper’s current owners, bought the newspaper from Gannett on October 18th, 1991. With the new acquisition, the paper was renamed to Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Since then, the press has had a conservative stance.
What do they cover?
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is a state newspaper and It covers the news & updates concerning Arkansas. Apart from this, they also have separate pages for local news in every edition.
Where do they serve?
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette had circulation in all the 75 counties of Arkansas until the beginning of 2020. Owing to the dwindling circulation and drop in revenue, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette decided to cease their printed publications and shift to being a digital newspaper starting January 2020.
|Editor||Eliza Hussman Gaines,|
2. Gazette: 1819
3. Democrat-Gazette: 1991
|Founder||William E. Woodruff|
|Owner||WEHCO Media, Inc.|
|Circulation||Daily: 192,212 Sunday: 284,494|
Little Rock News
Little Rock News is an online news portal run by the KATV Channel 7 News. The news portal mainly covers all facets of news and updates concerning Little Rock City and its surrounding area. Being run by a state-wide television broadcast company, the website is not limited to covering the local news.
The website has dedicated sections for local news, state news, national news, updates on politics & economy, sports news, weather updates, etc. Readers can also choose to access live TV from their website.
Texarkana Gazette is a daily newspaper in Arkansas founded in the year 1875. As of 2020, WEHCO Media Inc. owns the newspaper and is headquartered at Texarkana, Arkansas. The paper mainly covers the nine counties surrounding Texarkana. In fact, it is a local newspaper and the primary source of information for local news and sports in Texarkana and the surrounding Arklatex areas.
Apart from the printed edition of the newspaper, they also own an online news portal. There are dedicated sections on the website for Texarkana news, local news, business & international news, and obituaries. Other than these, there are sections covering entertainment & lifestyle news and updates.
|Founder||Clyde E. Palmer|
|Owner||WEHCO Media, Inc.|
Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is a daily newspaper that is circulated in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The newspaper was founded in the year 1860 under the name, The Democrat. Over the years, The Democrat underwent a lot of ownership change, and it was in the year1923; the newspaper was finally renamed to Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
The newspaper covers all facets of news and updates concerning the Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and surrounding areas in Northwest Arkansas. Apart from the printed edition, they also own an online news portal. The website covers all facets of local, national & state news, sports news, political & business news, and has dedicated sections for these. There are also sections for entertainment & lifestyle.
|Name||Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette|
|Owner||Northwest Arkansas Newspapers|
The Weekly Vista
The Weekly Vista, as the name suggests, is a weekly newspaper catering to the Bella Vista region of Arkansas. The newspaper covers all facets of local, state & national news and updates.
Apart from the weekly printed edition of the newspaper, they also own an online news portal. The online portal is regularly updated with the most important news & updates. There are dedicated sections on the website for local, state & national news, sports news, obituaries, updates on the various events, and editorials.
Pea Ridge Times
Pea Ridge Times is a weekly newspaper that is currently in circulation in the city of Pea Ridge, Arkansas. The newspaper was founded in the year 1913 and is now owned by the Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC. It is interesting to note that though Pea Ridge Times was not the first newspaper to hit the newsstands in the city, it is the most successful and only existing one,
As per the latest readership survey, it is estimated that Pea Ridge Timeshas a weekly circulation of around 1400 copies. Apart from the newspaper’s printed edition, they also own an online news portal that is updated frequently with the latest news and updates.
Siloam Springs Herald-Leader
Siloam Springs Herald-Leader is a biweekly newspaper catering to the Siloam Springs region of Arkansas. The printed edition mainly focuses on reporting local news and essential national & state news.
Other than the biweekly printed edition, there is an online news portal that is regularly updated. Unlike the printed edition that was mainly focused on reporting the local news, the online portal focuses equally on covering national, state & local news.
There are dedicated sections on the website for local, state & national news, obituaries, sports, business & political news & updates, etc. Paid subscribers can also access the e-edition of the newspaper from the website.
Rogers Hometown News
Rogers Hometown News is a weekly local newspaper that is published out of Rogers City, Arkansas. The paper mainly covers the local news, important national news, and is circulated in Rogers and its surrounding regions.
Apart from the printed edition of the newspaper, the publishing company also owns an online news portal. The news website is regularly updated with the local, state & national news and updates. There are sections on the website for local, state & national news, obituaries, sports, business & political news & updates, and so on.
Though most content on the website is made available to free users, some features are exclusive for paid subscribers.
McDonald County Press (McDonald County)
McDonald county press is a local weekly newspaper that is printed and circulated in McDonald county, Arkansas. Being a local newspaper, it is mainly focussed on reporting all facets of local news and the most important state & national news.
Unlike the weekly printed edition, the newspaper’s online news portal is regularly updated with the local, state & national news and updates. There are sections on the website for local, state & federal news, obituaries, sports, business & political news & updates, and so on. Other than these, the website also has a dedicated image and video gallery.
The access to the e-edition of the newspaper is restricted only to paid subscribers.
Washington County Enterprise Leader
Washington County Enterprise Leader is a weekly newspaper that is circulated in the Northwest Arkansas region. The paper was formed by the amalgamation of three erstwhile newspapers, The Lincoln Leader, Prairie Grove Enterprise & The Farmington Post.
Apart from the weekly printed edition of the newspaper, they also own an online news website. The website is regularly updated with the most important news and updates concerning Washington County, the state, and the nation.
There are sections on the website for local, state & national news, obituaries, sports, business & political news & updates, and so on. Other than these, there is also a dedicated image & video gallery on the website.
Arkansas Times is a weekly alternative newspaper that is based out of Little Rock, Arkansas. The paper was founded in the year 1974 as a magazine by Alan Leveritt. Arkansas Times gained popularity within a few years after launch and saw an increase in revenue. Owing to this, it was converted to a glossy monthly magazine. As of 2020, Arkansas Times is a weekly alternative newspaper with a circulation of 25,890 copies.
The newspaper mainly focuses on reporting news and updates on politics, business, local news, dining, entertainment, medical marijuana, art, health care, and equality. There are dedicated sections on the website for each of these categories of news.
|Owner||Arkansas Times Limited Partnership|
Southwest Times Record
Southwest Times Record is a daily newspaper that is printed and circulated out of Fort Smith, Arkansas. The newspaper was formed by the amalgamation of three erstwhile publications, the Fort Smith Times, the Fort Smith News-Record, and the Southwest American. As of 2020, Times Recordis owned by Gannet Co. Inc and has a circulation of 38,412 copies on weekdays and 43,461 copies on Sundays.
The newspaper covers all facets of local, state, and national news and updates. Apart from the printed edition, they also own an online news portal. Readers can access this website for local, state & national news, weather updates, business news & updates, sports news, entertainment news, and many more.
|Name||Southwest Times Record|
|Circulation||Daily: 38,412 Sunday: 43,461|
Arkansas Business is a weekly business newspaper that is published out of Little Rock, Arkansas. The newspaper was founded in 1984 and has since remained a trusted source of business news in Arkansas.
Apart from the printed edition of the newspaper, they also own an online news website. The website is regularly updated with the most crucial Business news & updates. There are dedicated sections on the website for industrial news, trends & analysis, latest news, and so on.
Though most content on the website is available for free to users, some features are exclusive to the paid subscribers. Arkansas Business also has an active presence on various social media platforms, and readers can choose to follow these pages for prompt updates.
UALR forum is a bi-weekly newspaper run by the students of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Arkansas. The newspaper mainly covers news & updates concerning the university and the areas surrounding it. Other than the printed edition, UALR Forum also has an online website that is regularly updated with the latest news & updates.
The Sun is a prominent community newspaper based out of Jonesboro, Arkansas. It is a daily newspaper catering to the readers in Jonesboro and Northeast Arkansas region. Being a community newspaper, The Sun mainly focuses on covering the local news and important national news. Unlike the printed edition, the online website encompasses all facets of local & national news.
The Sentinel-Record is a daily newspaper based out of in Little Rock, Arkansas. Interestingly, The Sentinel-Record was one of the few papers to survive the newspaper war in the 1800s. The newspaper mainly covers the local news & updates and important international news. As of 2020, the newspaper is owned by WEHCO Media, Inc.
Mountain Home Baxter Bulletin
Mountain Home Baxter Bulletin is a daily newspaper in Arkansas owned by Gannet Co., Inc.
The newspaper was founded in the year 1901, and It currently caters to the readers in Mountain Home, Baxter county & its surrounding areas. As of 2020, Mountain Home Baxter Bulletin has a circulation of 8,878 copies.
|Name||Mountain Home Baxter Bulletin|
Magnolia reporter is an online news website founded in 2010 and is currently owned by the Magnolia Reporter LLC. Being based out of Magnolia, the site mainly covers news & updates concerning the Columbia county in Arkansas. The website includes obituaries, local news, news & updates on various schools and universities, and entertainment news.
Pine Bluff Commercial
Pine bluff commercial is a newspaper based out of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. It is a local newspaper and mainly caters to the readers in Pine Bluff and Southeast Arkansas. Apart from the printed edition of the newspaper, they also own an online news website. Paid subscribers can access the e-edition of the newspaper from the website.
Area Wide News
Area Wide News is a weekly newspaper in Salem, Arkansas. The Area Media group owns the newspaper and mainly covers local news from Salem & the surrounding communities.
The Saline Courier
The Saline Courier is a daily newspaper that is circulated in Saline county, Arkansas. The newspaper was founded in 1876, and as of 2020, it is owned by the Horizon Publications. Saline county also has an online news website that is frequently updated with the most important news and updates.
|Name||The Saline Courier|
The Johnson County Graphic
The Johnson county graphic is a weekly newspaper based out of Clarksville covering the entire Western Arkansas region. The newspaper, which was founded in 1876, is currently published in both print & online format and has a neutral political stance. As per the latest readership survey, the newspaper has an estimated circulation of 10,000 copies.
Log Cabin Democrat
Log Cabin Democrat is a daily newspaper in Conway, Arkansas, that was founded in 1879. The newspaper mainly caters to Conway and Faulkner County and the surrounding areas. Apart from the printed edition of the newspaper, they also publish an online news website. As of 2020, Log Cabin Democrat is owned by the Paxton Media Group.
Hot Springs Village Voice
Hot Springs Village Voice is a weekly newspaper that was founded in the year 1990. It is a local newspaper owned by GateHouse Media Inc., serving the Hot Springs village in western Arkansas. Apart from the printed edition of the newspaper, they also publish an online news website.
Ashley County Ledger
Ashley County Ledger is a newspaper owned by the Ashley County Publishing Co. Inc., catering to the Ashley County region of Arkansas. Apart from the printed edition, they also publish an online news portal.
Malvern Daily Record
Malvern Daily Record is a daily newspaper that is printed and circulated out of Malvern, Arkansas. The newspaper was founded in the year 1916 and had over the years, became a popular local daily in Arkansas. Apart from the printed edition of the newspaper, there is also an online news portal.
Evening Times as the name suggests, is an evening newspaper that was founded in 1957. The newspaper mainly serves the Crittenden County & Eastern Arkansas. Apart from the printed edition of the paper, they also publish an online news website.
Harrison Daily Times
Harrison daily times is a daily newspaper published five days a week, except on Sundays & Mondays. The newspaper was founded in 1876, and as of 2020, they have a circulation of around 9,000 copies. In addition to the printed edition, they also publish an online news website.
Magnolia Banner News
Magnolia Banner News is a digital newspaper serving the magnolia county in Arkansas. The newspaper mainly covers local news and sports news. Apart from this, they also have dedicated sections on the website for national/business news, latest news, entertainment & lifestyle, and a media gallery.
Arkansas traveler is a student newspaper run by the students at the University of Arkansas. The newspaper was founded in the year and has since been printed four times a week. Apart from the printed edition, they also publish an online news website that is regularly updated with the latest news and updates.
El Dorado News-Times
El Dorado News-Times is a digital news medium that mainly serves the entire southern Arkansas area. The online news website is regularly updated with the latest and news and updates. There are dedicated sections on the website for local, state, sports & business news, Archives, and others. While most contents on the website are available for free to users, only paid subscribers can access the e-paper.
Like the other countries across the globe, the major challenge faced by the newspapers in Arkansas is the dwindling revenues. Most newspapers that once had significant circulation have begun to shrink. As per a research conducted by the University of North Carolina, it is estimated that more than 2,000 local newspapers were forced to shut down their business across the US due to declining revenue.
Due to the decline in revenue and an increase in circulating the printed editions, the major newspapers in Arkansas have decided to completely shift to the digital medium to keep their business afloat.
Among the major players, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette was the one to develop a unique ‘iPad strategy.’ According to this, the newspaper would provide iPads to their subscribers to read the newspaper’s digital edition. Subscribers can keep the iPad with them as long as they remain subscribers of the newspapers. The newspaper’s holding company, WEHCO Media, has invested a hefty $12 million in the iPad strategy.
The situation of the newspapers in Arkansas deteriorated when Covid-19 severely impacted the business. Most local newspapers in the US have begun a campaign demanding more financial assistance to keep their circulation afloat.
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