The Cortland Standard: A Beacon of Local Journalism

In a world where digital media dominates, the Cortland Standard stands out as a testament to the enduring power of local journalism. This daily newspaper, serving the city of Cortland and surrounding areas in New York, has been a reliable source of news, stories, and community updates for over a century. Let’s take a closer look at the history, impact, and future of this esteemed publication.

A Brief History

Early Beginnings

The Cortland Standard was founded in 1867, during a time when newspapers were the primary source of information for the public. The aim was simple: to provide the community with timely and relevant news. Over the years, it has grown and adapted to the changing landscape of journalism.

Key Milestones

  • 1867: Founding of the Cortland Standard.
  • 1920s-1940s: Expansion of coverage to include more in-depth local news, sports, and community events.
  • 1990s: Introduction of digital editions alongside the traditional print format.
  • 2000s: Emphasis on online presence and digital subscriptions.

From its humble beginnings, the Cortland Standard has evolved into a modern newspaper while maintaining its commitment to quality journalism.

Importance of Local Journalism

Local newspapers like the Cortland Standard play a crucial role in our society. They serve as the watchdogs of the community, keeping an eye on local government, schools, and businesses. They also provide a platform for local voices and stories that might otherwise go unheard.

Community Engagement

One of the Cortland Standard’s greatest strengths is its ability to connect with the community. Whether it’s covering a high school football game or reporting on city council meetings, the newspaper keeps residents informed and engaged.

Holding Power Accountable

Local journalism is essential for holding public officials accountable. The Cortland Standard has a long history of investigative reporting that has brought important issues to light and sparked change within the community.

Providing a Sense of Place

Local news helps build a sense of place and community identity. By focusing on the people, events, and issues that matter most to Cortland residents, the Cortland Standard fosters a shared understanding and connection among its readers.

Adapting to Change

The media landscape has changed dramatically in recent decades, with the rise of the internet and social media. Despite these challenges, the Cortland Standard has continued to thrive by adapting to new technologies and finding innovative ways to deliver news.

Digital Transition

In the 1990s, the Cortland Standard began offering digital editions, allowing readers to access the newspaper online. This move was crucial in reaching a broader audience and staying relevant in the digital age.

Social Media Presence

Today, the Cortland Standard maintains an active presence on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. These channels provide real-time updates and engage with readers in new and interactive ways.

Modern Challenges

Like all newspapers, the Cortland Standard faces challenges such as declining print subscriptions and competition from online news sources. However, its commitment to local journalism and ability to adapt has helped it navigate these obstacles.

Sections and Coverage

The Cortland Standard offers a variety of sections that cater to the diverse interests of its readers. Here’s a look at some of the key sections:


  • Local News: In-depth coverage of city council meetings, local elections, and community issues.
  • State and National News: Updates on important events and developments beyond the local area.


  • High School Sports: Detailed coverage of local high school teams and athletes.
  • College and Professional Sports: Updates on nearby college teams and major professional sports.


  • Editorials: Thoughtful commentary on local and national issues.
  • Letters to the Editor: A platform for readers to voice their opinions and engage in community dialogue.


  • Human Interest Stories: Profiles of interesting local residents and unique community events.
  • Arts and Culture: Coverage of local theater productions, art exhibits, and cultural events.


A respectful and comprehensive section honoring the lives of community members who have passed away.


Local businesses rely on the Cortland Standard to reach their customers. Advertisements range from classified ads to full-page spreads, supporting both the newspaper and the local economy.

The Future of the Cortland Standard

As we look to the future, the Cortland Standard faces both opportunities and challenges. The key to its continued success will be its ability to innovate while staying true to its mission of serving the community.

Embracing Technology

The newspaper will need to continue embracing new technologies to reach younger readers and stay competitive in the digital age. This might include enhanced digital content, mobile-friendly formats, and multimedia storytelling.

Expanding Digital Subscriptions

Increasing digital subscriptions will be crucial for financial sustainability. Offering exclusive online content and interactive features can help attract and retain subscribers.

Community Involvement

Maintaining a strong connection with the community will remain essential. This could involve hosting local events, partnering with community organizations, and encouraging reader contributions.

Training and Development

Investing in the training and development of journalists will ensure that the Cortland Standard maintains high standards of reporting. This includes staying updated on the latest journalistic practices and technologies.

The Cortland Standard is more than just a newspaper; it’s a vital part of the Cortland community. Its rich history, commitment to local journalism, and ability to adapt to changing times have made it a trusted source of news and information. As it moves forward, the Cortland Standard will continue to play an essential role in informing, engaging, and connecting the community.

Quick Facts

Primary Coverage AreaCortland, New York, and surrounding regions
Key SectionsNews, Sports, Opinion, Features, Obituaries
Digital PresenceWebsite, Social Media (Facebook, Twitter)
Community RoleLocal watchdog, community engagement, sense of place