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An Engaged Community Requires an Engaged Voice – Local Journalism Thrives Thanks to Forum Communications

Many in the region may confuse Forum Communications as a conglomerate, but the news source for thousands of readers in the midwest is just as much a small town business as the boutiques and restaurants that line downtown Fargo’s Broadway thoroughfare. The media organization, which counts Fargo-based The Forum, ABC affiliate, WDAY, and Forum Printing among its divisions, reaches an audience that stretches from Wisconsin to Minnesota, and North Dakota to South Dakota with multiple, community-based multimedia news brands.

 

With much appreciation to the age of digital transformation, Forum Communications has remained consistent in adapting to new and exciting ways to share the latest news. Its over 1,500 team  members work together to share the stories that matter to citizens in each market they serve, while also championing readers to be engaged in healthy conversations about everything from local business initiatives to national politics. As Forum Communications put it in a recent press release: “Communities gain strength when citizens are engaged in conversations that address problems, discuss differing points of view and encourage lifelong learning.”

 

Much of Forum Communications’ stories come from journalists who live and work in the communities they serve. Having a locally-based pool of media talent means the journalists crafting the stories are equally invested in the subject matter, whether it’s the opening of an exciting new business or the latest updates on a criminal investigation.

 

Throughout the United States, many news organizations have opted to cease production of print versions of their publications, or have opted to implement a digital subscription model — or a combination of both — to ensure they can continue delivering news to the communities they serve. Forum Communications has embraced the latter — a digital subscription model paired with its existing print offers — to ensure it can continue its legacy of producing quality and trustworthy local journalism in a variety of formats. This is a tradition Forum Communications’ family of news brands has been delivering on for more than 100 years.

 

When asked about the future of Forum Communications, President and CEO Bill Marcil Jr. answered, “I see journalism at its prime. I see technology and reporting coming together to deliver better content, faster.” And that’s exactly the vision that inspired Forum Communications to offer not just digital subscriptions to the news, but memberships. A membership program allows Forum Communications to continue offering the most important benefit valued by its subscribers — great content — while also offering additional perks and incentives to enhance the online experience and reward members. But the most important value offering is probably the least tangible one — connection to community. “We intend to carry out our time-honored traditions of reporting on the truth and keeping our communities connected for many years to come,” said Marcil Jr. in a story shared on InForum.com, the news site powered by The Forum and WDAY in Fargo.

 

Marcil Jr.’s note expanded on a host of benefits granted to readers who choose to become a member, including unlimited, unrestricted access to content from more than 25 news and niche content sites from the company’s network. Archived content is also available to all members, offering a deep dive into the history of each community, the region, and decades of Forum Communications coverage of stories ranging from hyper-local to international.

 

Though the future of media and the change in how society consumes content is tough to ignore, local, family-focused companies like Forum Communications will continue to be a catalyst for community connection and the sharing of information you can trust.

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Scottie Knollin

Scottie is a freelance writer working in Fargo, ND.