It probably isn’t a surprise that as the editor of a locally owned publication, I believe strongly in how locally owned media organizations make an impact in their communities. But it’s not just journalism gurus that should think this – a strong local media company is often correlated with a strong economy. For leaders to make good decisions, they need to be informed. Iowa journalism colleague Tony Baranowski recently wrote a piece for Poynter looking at the importance of locally owned newsrooms in today’s world. “There is an undeniable correlation between a strong local news product and a persevering local business dynamic,” he wrote. “While one cannot attribute the success of one to the other with any certitude, publishers and the businesses they serve are confident their shared endurance is no accident. Communities would do well to embrace and support their local watchdogs as they struggle with the issue of how best to communicate with the public in an era of caustic social media dialogue and ever-shifting technology formats. … To put it alternatively: Good newspapers are as integral to the survival of rural America as just about any bellwether.”