The Press: Success in the Sticks

In the judgment of Robert Marshall Myers, the American rural weekly is valueless, lily-livered and moribund. It is run by "printers," who stuff their pages with syndicated hayseed features and eke out a precarious living on job-printing contracts. "The political power of the country weekly," says Myers, "is a grand illusion. More than half of the nation's 9,000 weeklies never print an editorial. Those that do are generally reactionary."

Myers ought to know. A crewcut, ascetic man of 40, he makes his wholesale indictment with impressive credentials. He is a lifelong resident of...