November 25, 2008

Lawmakers ask state development agency to help newspapers

Seven legislators from the area served by The Bristol Press and The Herald in New Britain today wrote to the state Department of Economic and Community Development to ask for its help in preventing the closure of the newspapers.
We'll have more on this breaking news later, but for now, here's the letter.
It's also encouraging today to see that Jim Romenesko's daily email roundup of media news for the Poynter Institute, which the whole industry reads, featured at the top of its list the story about Gov. Jodi Rell and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's willingness to lend a hand to the effort to save the papers. At the very least, it's better to go down shouting than to slip quietly into the night.
Update: See Extra! Extra! Help save the newspapers!
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Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hope they can find a way to help. We need a newspaper. Especially one that isn't owned by the JRC!

Anonymous said...

I bet if you re-named it PRAVDA ,Cuba would help bail you out.

Grim Reaper said...

Good way for the incumbents to get good press.

What a sham!

Anonymous said...

You all want the govt/taxpayer to give taxpayer money to keep a newspaper alive?? I can't believe you don't see anything wrong with this?

Truly, I am sorry for anyone who would be losing their jobs, but these businesses are failing for a reason. Customers simply are not buying their product.

Also, I can't believe these legislators think, according to the letter, that "having a local paper is important for public accountability,..., we want to(sic) public to have access to independent news about what is going on in government and our communities".

HELLO, the papers would be dependent on the GOVT and would never be an independent source of information. You could trust the newspaper about as much as a PR release from the govt. Sometimes accurate, but rarely giving complete information.

If this happens, at least change the names of the papers to the Connecticut Government Newspaper Times.

Steve Collins said...

Nobody is talking about a government bailout.
What's being tried is to have government officials help find a buyer to keep crucial businesses alive - just like they would do with any major employer or institution.
The problem facing both communities is that officials don't believe the JRC is trying very hard to sell the papers. Since the money it would get would simply go to the banks that loaned it money, some say the company could give a damn what happens. I don't know if that's true, of course, but it's not unreasonable for officials to explore what, if anything, they might be able to do to lend a hand to try to keep the papers alive.

Anonymous said...

"Lend a hand" = "unconstitutional government pressure." It wouldn't work anyway - people would trust newspapers even less than they do now.

Some Schmuck said...

"Congress shall make no law..freedom of the press..."

How can the First Amendment allow nude dancing (a good freedom) and at the same time allow the government to provide funding for the news.

Not a Constitutional scholar but it just seems to me.