It comes out only once a week, but the Sun never sets | History | Smithsonian
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It comes out only once a week, but the Sun never sets

Can a weekly paper in rural New Mexico raise enough hell to keep its readers hungry for more, issue after issue? Don't ask

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A lot of people dream of owning a small-town weekly newspaper, of becoming a crusty country editor, whose mission is to "print the news and raise hell." Like Robert Trapp, editor of the Rio Grande Sun, a weekly in rural New Mexico. In contrast to daily papers embattled by TV weeklies in the United States are thriving; there are now 7,437 of them, and in the past 25 years their circulation has more than doubled to 57 million nationwide.

The Sun is especially aggressive in reporting news that really matters to local news that really matters to local taxpayers and in keeping local officials on their toes. These journalists' idea of fun has to do with stirring up trouble, so both readers and advertisers say they enjoy the Sun stories, especially when they are "not about them."

About Richard Conniff
Richard Conniff

Richard Conniff, a Smithsonian contributor since 1982, is the author of seven books about human and animal behavior.

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