Research Essay: Weekly or Weakly Quality? A Comparative Analysis of Circulation, Penetration, Quality, and Prizewinning at North Carolina Community Newspapers, 1998-2000 and 2012-2014

This article explores the relationships among newspaper quality, circulation, and newspaper circulation penetration at North Carolina community newspapers during two three-year periods in 1998, 1999, and 2000 and 2012, 2013, and 2014. Winning prizes seems to be correlated with circulation size: the greater the circulation, the greater the resources to devote to creating journalism that captures awards. However, the gauge of the success and impact of a weekly newspaper community is evinced by the percentage (the higher the better) of circulation penetration in the core community.