The Lancaster Post published its first edition today and the publishers believe it will provide Lancaster County with a credible alternative to the local monopoly press.
The Post is a free issues, arts, and entertainment weekly that will be distributed in every part of Lancaster County.
"We heard so many people complain about Lancaster Newspapers that its coverage was biased, that it was boring that we decided a little competition would be good for everyone," said Ron Harper, Jr., one of two publishers and editors.
The first edition features an extensive multi-page exclusive interview with the four Presidential candidates: John McCain, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Ron Paul. The column asks each candidate the same questions and gives them the same time and space to answer.
"It took a lot of persistence and follow-through to get their participation, but with such a critical primary just days away, it was in their interests to get the exposure in Lancaster County," said Christiaan Hart Nibbrig, the other co-Publisher/Editor.
The publication, a tabloid, also has many human interest features, such as a restaurant review, a cooking item, a Lancaster County crossword puzzle, entertainment guide, and an arts section.
"We want to provide something that is not only interesting and informative," said Harper, "but that is also a lot of fun to read."
The newspaper also has a companion website that will reproduce the newspaper and also have additional interactive features.
"We know it seems counter-intuitive to start a newspaper when so many are failing across the country, but that really affects the dailies. Weeklies are strong," said Harper. "Plus, we intend the Post to 'midwife' the county from getting their news from print to the web."
Harper is a well-known investigative reporter who published through his website, 5thEstate.com, for the past nine years. He is perhaps best known for the investigative reporting that forced state assembly appropriations chairman John Barley to resign in disgrace. His reporting also resulted in the conviction and jail sentence of Ric Curry, the former head of Lancaster School District.
Hart Nibbrig, an alumnus of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has experience at Time magazine as an online news writer, and at People magazine as a business analyst. He is also the founding editor and publisher of the Mendocino County (CA) Outlook, an issues and arts bi-weekly (1992).
The paper is published every Thursday and starting next week can be found at all Turkey Hill convenience stores as well as other locations throughout the county.