Two pubs end publication

December 7 not only commemorated Pearl Harbor, it also marked the end of two long-time local papers: Inside UVA and Informed People Are Better People.

Over at Fontaine Research Park, the mood was glum at UVA's office of public affairs with the last print issue of Inside UVA, whose $75,000 printing budget fell victim to state budget cuts. "It's a very melancholy feeling," says Carol Wood, assistant VP of public affairs. "So many of us in public affairs started with Inside UVA."

While students have the Cavalier Daily, the newspaper to inform the UVA community started in 1971 as the University Register before morphing into the weekly Inside UVA with a circulation of 14,500.

Being the seasoned spokeswoman that she is, Wood quickly points out the positive aspects to going online with a daily email newsletter, UVA Today, on January 15. "Years ago, we decided not to hold copy for Inside UVA. By the time it got in print, everything had appeared online. With the new communication age, we can create something more robust online."

The staff gathered last week for a cake decorated with all the paper's logos over the past 36 years. "It's the passing of an era," says Wood.

Informed People Are Better People was the brainchild of Dogwood Housing founder Eugene Williams, who sank his family's funds into buying blighted properties to turn into decent rental properties for black people in 1980. A tenant called to say there was a leak under the sink, and when Williams got there he saw a wet and dirty floor and asked if she had any newspapers. He was startled to discover she didn't. "She went into every room and said she couldn't find any newspapers," recalls Williams. "She hadn't had any since Teddy was a puppy.

"I said, how in the world can people better their lives if they have no magazines or newspapers in their in their lives?" he wondered. Thus was born Informed People Are Better People, and for 27 years, Dogwood Housing tenants got a stapled, two-page copy on colored paper every month with reprints of articles Williams thought would be of interest to them. Circulation was "79 plus," says Williams, for his 79 tenants and former tenants who asked to stay on the list.

On October 31, Dogwood Housing sold for $6.4 million to Keith Woodard, who pledged to keep 58 of Dogwood's 73 rentals scattered through the city affordable. The new entity will be known as Dogwood Properties of Charlottesville LLC. And the November issue of Informed People, which arrived in the Hook's mailbox December 7, is Williams' last.

Woodard says he's debating whether to continue Informed People Are Better People. "It may take a little different form," he says. "We usually put out a newsletter for our tenants."

And he calls the paper's 27-year run "a good effort on Eugene's part to help people who otherwise wouldn't be reading papers– like the Hook."

1 comment

Inside UVA was poop.

The "news" in it was always weeks old. Headlines News and the other online newsletters are much, much better.