West Texas Tribune announces new nonprofit newspaper status
By Carla McKeown
With this May 2022 issue, the West Texas Tribune not only celebrates its 17th anniversary, but it also enters a new era as Abilene’s only nonprofit community newspaper, Publisher Floyd Miller announced recently.
With the move from a for-profit business model to a nonprofit newspaper, the West Texas Tribune joins a growing trend across the United States, becoming one of hundreds of such publications providing Americans with their news.
Although nonprofit media organizations are not new — PBS and NPR have been around for years — the concept of nonprofit newspapers expanded greatly during the past few years, especially since 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past several years, there have been start-up digital nonprofit news organizations, such as the Texas Tribune in Austin, the Breckenridge Texan in Stephens County and the Mineral Wells Area News in Palo Pinto County. But, there are also traditional print newspapers that are nonprofit, such as the Salt Lake Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.
One of Miller’s reasons for converting the West Texas Tribune to a nonprofit is to create a legacy, a long-lasting publication that will continue to serve the people of Abilene and West Texas after he has decided to retire from the day-to-day and month-to-month duties of running the newspaper.
Since the West Texas Tribune has always covered a wide range of topics, the general focus of the newspaper will remain the same: the community and people of Abilene and West Texas.
Additionally, the publication will continue to be offered for free at news racks around town, and it will continue to be a place where local businesses can place advertisements. One change will be that, as a nonprofit business, anyone who appreciates the West Texas Tribune and wants to support local journalism can make a tax-deductible donation to the organization.
Also, the West Texas Tribune now has a board of directors overseeing its operations, as well as an advisory board providing community input.
“Some things that I’m hoping that we will be able to do with the nonprofit, is to get more people engaged, and maybe we’ll be able to bring on a couple of interns,” Miller said. “And I’d also like to have a section where we just hear from the high school students … hear what they’re thinking.”
Check out Page B1 in this issue of the West Texas Tribune for more details about Miller and the history of the West Texas Tribune.
Photo cutline, top photo: After 17 years of publishing the West Texas Tribune, Floyd Miller has decided to convert the community newspaper into a nonprofit publication. The Abilene-based newspaper will continue to cover local news and activities on a monthly basis. (Photo by Tony Pilkington)
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The West Texas Tribune is a community-based newspaper that has been published, uninterrupted, since May 2005. Our goal is to highlight events and people throughout West Texas as an independent, locally run newspaper. We thrive on the support of our local community.