In a rural Texas Panhandle town, which has survived oil busts, devastating wildfires, and a diminishing population, a few things have remained constant – cowboys, high school football, conservative voters, and the family-owned weekly newspaper The Canadian Record. Despite editor Laurie Brown’s liberal editorials in one of the most conservative counties in the country, The Record is loved and relied on by the community. But now, an already bad economy has been made much worse by the global pandemic – bad news for a paper that gets 90% of its revenue from advertising.
For The Record follows Laurie, her town, and her newspaper, as she leads a valiant effort to keep it alive. With each day, The Canadian Record grows closer to being one of the 2200 newspapers in the U.S. that have closed since 2005. Out of the 3,000-plus U.S. counties, only half have a local print newspaper of any kind. Social media often replaces the news vacuum, leading to a growing distrust of the news in general. “The fact that journalism is being denounced,” says Laurie, “ and there’s no longer much value being placed on the truth, is just about the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.”