Monday, June 27, 2011
Moving on up
My friends at the venerable Amherst Bulletin--affectionately referred to by insiders as "the Bully" (although probably less so now that the term's negative aspect is in vogue)--have a new home closer to town center, so as my British friends would say: "bully for them."
Daily Hampshire Gazette--so much so that I actually thought it was the Gazette. And it would be nice if the Gazette or Bulletin resurrected the online forum for reader interaction that ten years ago was far more active than Masslive's moribund Amherst Forum.
Twenty years ago upper management kept the Gazette and Bulletin completely separate, so that reporters for one paper considered those working at the sister publication competition and would work hard to scoop one another even though they all worked for the same owner. Nothing like a little competition to fire up motivation.
The actual competition, 100+ year old weekly Amherst Record, ceased publication in 1984 leaving the Amherst Bulletin as the sole paper devoted to Amherst. The Bully and Gazette pretty much merged into one seamless entity, where the Gazette would break a story in the beginning of the week and the weekly Bulletin would flesh out all the fine details by distribution on Friday.
Of course the problem now for the newspaper industry as a whole is that readers want their news almost before it happens, rather than waiting until the end of the week. And even daily publications have trouble printing a story before readers have already heard about it on Facebook, Twitter, or those pesky blogs.
In a one mortician town, who buries the undertaker? Let's hope the Bulletin never has to cover its own funeral.