The Power of Adversity: Building Sustainable Local News Enterprises and Unveiling True Leadership


Hatched by Glasp

Jul 23, 2023

4 min read


The Power of Adversity: Building Sustainable Local News Enterprises and Unveiling True Leadership


In recent news, Substack has made a significant announcement about their Substack Local program, which aims to support local news writers by providing financial assistance and emphasizing the importance of paid subscriptions and sustainability. Simultaneously, a thought-provoking article by Farnam Street highlights the concept that individuals and companies are truly judged by their behavior and actions during challenging times. In this article, we will explore the commonalities between these two topics and delve into the significance of adversity in building successful local news enterprises and showcasing effective leadership.

Building Sustainable Local News Enterprises:

The Substack Local program is not merely a grants initiative; instead, it focuses on fostering a robust business model for independent local news. By providing financial support and encouraging writers to prioritize paid subscriptions, Substack aims to enable the creation of sustainable news enterprises. This approach recognizes the importance of generating revenue and ensuring long-term viability in an era of declining traditional news outlets.

Furthermore, Substack Local is open to applicants from anywhere in the world, highlighting the global relevance of the program. The democratization of access to resources and opportunities is crucial for empowering writers from diverse backgrounds to contribute to the local news landscape. By nurturing local news enterprises, Substack is facilitating the creation of diverse voices that can address the unique needs and concerns of communities around the world.

Unveiling True Leadership:

The Farnam Street article reminds us that true leadership is demonstrated during times of uncertainty and fear. When everything is going smoothly, anyone can steer the ship. However, it is during crises and challenging moments that leaders truly show their mettle. History has consistently shown that leaders who rise to the occasion during wars, economic crises, pandemics, and natural disasters leave a lasting impact on society.

Similarly, on an individual level, our true character is revealed during our worst days. How we behave and handle adversity speaks volumes about our integrity, resilience, and ability to adapt. These moments of hardship provide an opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery. They also serve as a genuine reflection of our values and principles, as they are impossible to fake. It is during these trying times that we have the most to learn about ourselves and the chance to transform our worst days into our best.

Connecting the Dots:

The Substack Local program and the concept of true leadership during adversity share a common thread - the recognition that excellence is not solely determined by success in favorable circumstances. Both initiatives emphasize the importance of resilience, adaptability, and a long-term vision.

In the context of local news enterprises, writers supported by Substack Local must navigate the challenges of the industry, such as declining revenues and changing reader preferences. By prioritizing paid subscriptions and sustainability, these writers are encouraged to reimagine their approach to news delivery, ensuring that they can weather the storms and provide valuable content to their communities.

Similarly, effective leadership during crises requires leaders to embrace uncertainty, make tough decisions, and inspire hope. Much like the local news writers, leaders must be willing to rethink their strategies and adapt to new circumstances to guide their teams and communities through difficult times.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace Change and Innovation: Local news writers should not be afraid to experiment with new business models and platforms. By embracing change and seeking innovative solutions, they can adapt to evolving reader preferences and secure a sustainable future.
  • 2. Develop Crisis Management Skills: Leaders should proactively prepare for times of adversity by honing their crisis management skills. This includes effective communication, empathy, and the ability to make tough decisions while keeping the long-term vision intact.
  • 3. Seek Opportunities for Growth: Individuals should view their worst days as opportunities for personal growth and self-reflection. By embracing adversity and using it as a chance to showcase their best qualities, they can learn valuable lessons about themselves and emerge stronger than before.


The Substack Local program and the concept of true leadership during adversity highlight the importance of resilience, adaptability, and long-term vision in building sustainable local news enterprises and showcasing effective leadership. By prioritizing paid subscriptions, embracing change, and viewing adversity as an opportunity for growth, writers and leaders can navigate the challenges they face and leave a lasting impact on their communities. As we continue to evolve in an ever-changing world, these principles will remain crucial for success in the local news industry and beyond.

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