In defiance of almost every trend in print media in recent decades, Community Impact -- a chain of local newspapers in Texas -- is expanding. The publication was first launched in 2005 as a single monthly paper covering the far-northern suburbs of Austin, Texas, US. Over that timeframe, local newspapers throughout the country have been closing at a rate of two per week. Meanwhile, Community Impact has become a mainstay in the information diets of Texans who live in the areas it covers. John Garrett and his wife Jennifer have found a winning formula: The papers publish only once a month and his reporters only cover small business and local government. The goal is to provide news for local folks who want to know about development plans or school district changes before making life decisions. The other beneficiary, though, is civic engagement; research has shown that civic engagement drops as media coverage of local political issues declines. There are correlations between news deserts and decreased voter participation, more government corruption, and even higher taxes. Community Impact has outlets across Texas, with more growth planned.

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