December 14, 2008

New York Times examines the role of The Bristol Press

Here is a must-read: New York Times reporter Dan Barry's eloquent An Imperiled Newspaper's Place in a Small City's Fabric.
Barry spent a day in Bristol last week and much time on the phone, researching and doing the kind of grunt work that makes for good journalism. Would that others would follow his lead in telling our story while there's still something to say.

Check out Andy Jacobsohn's Eloquence of Bristol.
And Troubled News in the In The Bluff blog.

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at


Anonymous said...

Steve, thanks for posting this link. Dan Barry's story is wonderfully written and eloquently captures the symbiotic relationship between Bristol and its hometown newspaper.

Anonymous said...

this article was written because of your writings about the Press' possible demise.
Thanks for all your efforts to alert us & others about our possible community loss and the global effect of no written daily news.

Anonymous said...

I see your hand in that story, Steve!

Anonymous said...

Excellent story. I do feel badly about the press but as it was pointed out, there are only a few reporter soldiers left battling the tide here and its too bad. Community groups can't get their info into the paper, lots of wire reports instead of bonafide good community news that people submit, and frankly, while some people lap up the sensationalism or negativity, other are repelled by it. The Press has done little to help itself over the last decade, and that is the sad part.

Anonymous said...

you give Dan Barry too much credit. If he just read the postings on this blog, he wouldn't have had to waste time on researching his story.

Adam Benson said...

Dan Barry is a brilliant journalist and gifted writer who knows how to bring emotion to the surface with just a few descriptive sentences.
For all the support (and haters) that has emerged since Nov. 10, I don't think anything has been as personally gratifying and profound as this column.
It cuts through all the b.s. circulating about a would-be "bailout" or other form of government intervention and gets to the point of what the Bristol Press and the editorial staff is about: Plugging away every day through dire circumstances because that's our readers expect.
That strand of Christmas lights (which probably would chagrin the JRC bean counters) and unfinished crossword puzzle are great metaphors for the Press. A dim light of hope and continually unfinished business to attend to.
No matter where I might end up in the immediate or long-term future given what's going on at the Press, I will always be grateful for having a chance to fight for something that doesn't deserve to die.
And I'm glad Dan Barry helped our a cause a bit.

Anonymous said...

The only reason The Bristol Press matters at all, Steve, is that you and Jackie didn't move on to greener pastures. Some of the head cases who post on your blog won't ever recognize it, of course. Yet some of us do know that without the excellent reporting you two have provided, nobody would care anymore what happens to the Press. That guy who complains about the sensationalism and negativity is wrong. I'm on the inside and I know what a good job you two do.
What I did not know until today is that Lou Grant was your editor.

Anonymous said...

What a great story written about the demise of the Press from a human interest perspective and not a business perspective which seems to be getting all the attention. I know the Press is a "business" first before anything else, but I really hate referring to it as such. The Bristol Press plays such an important role in everyone's day to day life, it will be truely missed as highlighted by Dan Barry. In a Bob Dylan song he sings "You never miss your water till your well runs dry". In this case unfortunately, it may be the ink well.

Anonymous said...

Keep working on it, Steve. You're getting somewhere.

Anonymous said...

The photo of Mr. Sarno sitting in his office brought back some warm memories of the first time I stepped foot in a newspaper newsroom.

It was in that office on a hot summer day over 30 years ago when I met with Lou Bachman, the paper's cigar chomping editor and Skip LeMonnier, the laid- back boat shoed editorial page editor hoping that the Press would have an interest in publishing my artwork. I was a high school student who had been knocking out political cartoons in my art class and my teacher Mary Lou Hoffman had set up the interview for me. Skip and Lou liked my stuff and offered to pay me $5 a cartoon, It was quite a deal.

As a kid I was a avid Press reader and the chance to contribute to such an incredible institution was not lost on a 16 year old. The Press was and has always been the face of Bristol and it's surrounding communities. Though TV has always been the more glamorous medium a three minute story on one of the Hartford or New Haven television stations could not match the impact of being on page one of The Bristol Press.

For the longest time the Press captured the essence of what a good community newspapers were all about. It reported on all the news that meant something to it's readers in a clean, concise, and impartial manner. It entertained and engaged it's readers, while at times enraging local politicians.

While I no longer draw political cartoons those years as a contributor to the Press made a lasting impact on me and was the springboard for my 25 year + newspaper career. I've ridden out many ups and downs over the years working for both public and privately owned papers with the last few years being the toughest ones for all of us in the business . Many of my friends have left the industry but for those of us who remain there is still a passion and pride for what newspapers do.

Community newspapers like The Press continue to play an important role in the lives of the people that they serve and many continue to make a good profit. I'm sure under the right ownership the Press could once again be profitable while expanding it's news and marketing opportunities in both print and on the Web.

The Bristol Press is far too important to Bristol to let her slip away.

D Dubnanski

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

I don't think I've ever seen this community so eloquently described. Thank you steve

Anonymous said...

Great story, Barry.
But I knew Lou Grant. Lou Grant was a courageous newsman and a dear friend of mine. You, Bill Sarno, are no Lou Grant.

Bill Stortz said...

Another quote for your collection:


Joseph Pulitzer

Anonymous said...

Do you really work for that fat guy? Wow.

Frank said...

That's Bill Sarno?! He looks much younger than he sounds on the phone...

Anonymous said...

Does he ever leave the office, that fat guy? Doesn't look like it.