Carrboro Citizen Arrives

We got a Carrboro Citizen newspaper on our doorstep yesterday evening. It's really nice to have it delivered for free. ESPECIALLY when it doesn't sit rotting in our parking space like the Chapel Hill News.

This Citizen's paper design reminds me of my Grandparent's home town paper The Hickory Daily Record. I think its because its small, full of local ads, and beautifully less sophisticated. I remember the Hickory paper having some sans serif fonts in the 80's. More sans serif fonts Carrboro Citizen. PLEASE. Très modern!

I would read the Hickory paper on an old couch and feel like I was in a foreign country. I didn't know the issues, the businesses, or the people. But in Carrboro its the complete opposite. I know the writers, the topics, the events, and the issues. I feel part of this bit of newsprint. Not sure how exactly considering I'm a digital dude to the core. Its probably Kirk and Jock's fault. :)

The Citizen's website looks really wonderful. Clean, readable, and elegant. Just what a good website should be. A real contrast to most of the horrible website designs newspapers have out there. It's based on the wonderful blog platform Wordpress. This is an excellent demonstration of how WP can become just about anything. Not just a blog.

I remember talking with Kirk Ross about the idea of digital first and print second. The concept, to me, was about using browser based applications, in this case Wordpress, to enter and edit text. That text would then end up in a database. In return a print designer could grab that text content and lay it out for the press. Current info is up fast on the web and followed quickly by the slower paper version. I wonder how the Citizen is handling its workflow? I imagine its a work in progress like any other startup. To me using modern workflow at a newspaper could be a HUGE competitive advantage. Not just because its easier and faster than old ways but because it could save money.

Thanks is due to all the great people I've met in Carrboro and Chapel Hill. Its because of you I know all of this. Thanks to you I'm involved, committed even. Its a new thing for me. I've never lived in a small town like Carrboro. Even though I technically live in Chapel Hill I feel incredibly close to Carrboro. Carrboro is where my heart is.

Guess this is part of settling down. Finding your happy niche and growing roots. Nice to have the Carrboro Citizen follow me along for the ride. May it be a long one we share together.

Cross posted from



Thanks. That's twice in two days that we've had the ultimate praise--that we're in the style of a good old hometown newspaper.

I'm totally wide open on fonts and typography in general. We're kind of open source in that regard.
If you've got some good sans-serif font suggestions let us know.
We're using Garramond for the body copy (10.5/11).

The heads are in Times and Verdana.

Where is it being delivered? I live in Carrboro and am pretty sure I didn't get one on my doorstep. :(

you can sign up for our free home delivery service by going to carrborocitizen dot com and clicking on the subscribe link. We're not going to just throw them in yards and driveways without folks asking for them. If you signed up for delivery and didn't get one this week let us know by sending a message to delivery at carrborocitizen dot com. This week was pretty crazy (insane, actually) and we we know we had a few hiccups.
And I'd also like to say thanks to Brian for his positive comments. We can talk a lot about community newspapers but getting one in folks' hands is the best way to explain it.

Robert Dickson

Hey, Joan,
If you sign up for home delivery, I'll bring it to ya.
Yeah, I've gotta day job as a teacher over at UNC, but hand delivering on your porch an quality, all-local, authentic, independent, locally-owned community newspaper just gives me a daggum thrill. Once a paper boy, always a paper boy.

And by the way,Brian Russell: you rock!


Does anyone know how to get a username/password for the Carrboro Citizen? I don't want to subscribe and get home delivery, I just want to comment that instead of lamenting over the men's BB loss, we could be reveling in the women's success. :)

How lovely to find Carrboro Citizen on the porch yesterday.

I told the mister, "They porched it." He said, "They did WHAT??" I said, "Porched. Must be walkers."

Thank you, Jock.

Yup, kicking myself a bit that we didn't get the women's game in.
I just went through and turned on the comments. Check and see if you can comment now.


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