A newspaper that was over 100 years old is going away, this one covering St. Joseph County.

The Commercial News In Three Rivers Will Cease Publishing December 10

Saturday will be the final edition of the Three Rivers Commercial News. The 127 year old publication has been struggling to survive financially, so the owners pulled the plug on it.

The closure was announced to staff on Tuesday, Dec. 6, by Editor and Publisher Dirk Milliman.


“The reality became that we could not generate enough revenue to remain viable. We do not have enough regular advertisers who use our products to promote their businesses. The prominence of social media as changed the whole dynamic of information sharing, of news and news reporting. And like many small businesses, we never really recovered from the pandemic. Unfortunately, it is just our time.”


The Commercial-News has been published in Three Rivers at least weekly since 1895. It is the last surviving newspaper in the community that in the early 1900s saw up to seven newspapers competing for readers and advertisers.

Sierra Koder via Unsplash
Sierra Koder via Unsplash

Local Newspapers Have Struggled Since The Pandemic

Small town newspapers were already suffering, but with a loss in local revenue due to the pandemic hurting advertising revenue, the end has come quickly. Over 360 small town newspapers have shuttered operations in 2022, according to the New York Times.

And what does that mean? According to the journalism publication Poynter.org, it means less local transparency and accountability, and that has been shown to a be a bad thing for some small communities.

“...When you lose a small daily or a weekly, you lose the journalist who was gonna show up at your school board meeting, your planning board meeting, your county commissioner meeting,” Penny Abernathy, a professor at the University of North Carolina’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media told Poynter.

Communities lose transparency and accountability. Then, she said, research shows that taxes go up and voter participation goes down.

One of the features I've always loved in small town papers were the 'Letters To The Editor'. it was always a direct way to talk specifically to your town. Where will those opinions go now? Twitter? The Facebook comment section? No one wants to go into those battle zones.

It seems a shame to lose another local voice.

RIP Commercial News.

Anders Nord via Unsplash
Anders Nord via Unsplash

This Three Rivers Woman Has Had ENOUGH of Drivers Plowing Through Her Yard

A Tour of Main Street Ladys, the New Women's Gym in Three Rivers

A new gym with fitness targeted towards women is opening in Three Rivers. With treadmills, tanning beds, electric massage chairs and more...let's take a tour of this brand new gym.

Gallery Credit: Main Street Ladys Facebook Page






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