This is a statement issued today by many of the employees of The Bristol Press, in anticipation of the meeting in Hartford between a number of lawmakers and the state's top economic development official:
Since 1871, The Bristol Press has been the guardian of Bristol's heritage, government and society. Throughout our proud history, we've reported the births, marriages, and deaths in our community as well as local sports and school events, scout meetings, fundraisers of all sorts and church happenings. We've faithfully delivered news of local businesses, city hall and public safety. We’ve been a watchdog and given voice to public concerns that might have otherwise been overlooked.
We see ourselves as caretakers of this 137-year-old community institution, as public servants as much as employees. We work for a paycheck, but even more so because we believe that what we do makes this little corner of the world a better place. We want to keep serving the Bristol community as Press employees have for generations.
The paper's corporate owner may not be local, but we are. We've lived in Bristol, bought homes and raised families here.
We shudder to think of Bristol, a city of 60,000, without the Press. But the announcement by the paper's owner, the Journal Register Co., that it will close this newspaper and a dozen others in Connecticut if they are not sold by January 12 puts us on a perilous deadline we've never faced before.
We know our newspaper can once again be a vibrant part of the community. We also know we are not alone. We hear support and encouragement from our readers every day.
As taxpayers ourselves, we do not want a bailout from the state or from the city, but like any other business, we do want the expertise that development officials can offer, hopefully to help arrange a deal with a new owner.
We are deeply grateful for all efforts to help save the newspaper, and we are eager to soon put our talents to work for a new owner.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org