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How The Welch News uses WordPress to keep local news alive in West Virginia

By Sarah Gooding, WPTavern

For 95 years, the people living in the McDowell County coalfields have depended on The Welch News for local coverage of important events. The county sits at the southernmost point of state, with a declining population of 18,363 and a median household income of $27,682.

In the 1950’s, at the apex of the mining industry’s economic influence, McDowell County had close to 100,000 people living there. They mined the coal that built much of the infrastructure for American cities. After the industry became more mechanized and many left to find work elsewhere, the community began to deteriorate, drugs got a foothold, and many local kids are now raised by their grandparents. Property taxes evaporated, as a large number of homes are on homestead exemption, which further lowers property taxes for those who are 65+ or considered disabled.

The Welch News remains in the county as a unifying force that the dwindling populace relies on to stay connected and informed. Publisher Melissa Nester often says she learned how to read by reading the Welch News. Three years ago, she purchased her local newspaper to keep it from shuttering. …

Read more: https://wptavern.com/how-the-welch-news-uses-wordpress-to-keep-local-news-alive-in-west-virginia

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