It’s almost a collectors’ item these days. That’s because it is so difficult to find a hard copy of the daily “Republican Press Herald” on news stands where they are ordinarily for sale in bulk.
After this pattern played out for several weeks, it was this blogger’s conclusion the publisher was just printing fewer copies. Several months ago, the cost of the daily was increased to $2.00. Faithful readers have noticed that the number of pages in each section are getting enbarrassingly sparse.
Now comes the news that the Monday edition of the paper will be available only digitally. It claims rightfully as I understand it, Monday is a slow-news day in the news business. But what is the real reason behind this downsizing?
A few years ago, this blogger was invited by the “Bangor Daily News” to become one of its growing numbers of web site bloggers. During the so-called negotiations for an agreeable salary, this blogger was told by an official that the BDN was trying to provide better coverage of southern Maine than the Press Herald does. Some local readers think the BDN wins hands down. For me, “The New York Times” wins hands down.
This blogger is disappointed that the editorial page editor has not written one editorial saying that renters in Portland need protections from abusive landlords. Such an unregulated business as it is, abusive landlords have a field day in Portland. Yet the editor turns a blind eye toward them as city hall wants him to do.. Keisch is a homeowner on Munjoy HIll.
A new Rental Housing Advisory Committee (RHAC) was formed by the city last year. It met twice at city hall last year. No mention of this news in the news section by reporter Randy Billings or the editorial page by Greg Keisch. The entities, editorial and news, are traditionally supposed to be separate and be independent of each other in ethical publications. Sort of like the three branches of government. Are they here? They seem to be working together rather than working independently. Would coverage of the RHAC anger the real estate industry who advertises there – often dominated by Tom Landry and his ilk? Or is the lack of coverage about something else? Renters need protections from unscrupulous landlords.
The downsizing of the “Republican Press Herald” will hurt city hall significantly. Jon Jennings, city manager, will have less space to distribute his truth via his megaphone – as it shrinks and its editors try to fight off the BDN’s mission to expand their coverage in southern Maine.