Posted today to ‘Digital First’— Journal Register CEO John Paton’s Dialogue With Employees And The Public On How Newspaper Companies Can Adapt and Thrive.
Hi, John Paton!
Pal, you have your work cut out for you in re The Berkshire Eagle.
The problem at The Eagle is that The Eagle editors don’t “cover” the news so much as “cover for” the news.
I don’t need to tell you the number of news stories The Eagle has failed to report in recent years because were the facts of those stories ever reported, such revelations would intrude and impinge upon the political power structure in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and Berkshire County, the Berkshire Eagle’s circulation area.
The Eagle’s covering-up of bona-fide news stories has gotten so bad in recent months that the newspaper recently lost/let go one of its more enterprising reporters who, of course, immediately was hired by the competing Springfield-Republican.
Now this journalist reports the news The Eagle was refusing before to print, only now The Eagle plays catch-up the next day (or the following week) and reports that which its former reporter is now writing about in The Republican.
Pretty ludicrous, eh?
The Eagle’s circulation is dismal and declining because readers no longer trust The Eagle. Eagle Management in the Internet Age is failing to grapple with the power of the Net to spread local news.
In the Berkshires, news stories ‘break’ on venues such as Topix and in local blogs sometimes WEEKS before The Eagle finally gets around to reporting on the same subjects, only by then most everyone is already aware of what had happened from reading Topix and those local blogs.
Worse, Topix and those local blogs are now in the habit of ‘scooping’ The Eagle almost DAILY!
I wish you well Mr. Paton in getting The Eagle back on its reportorial feet.
You need to get The Eagle’s editors back in the habit of accurately and honestly reporting the news and out of that nasty habit of thinking first about protecting the local political power structure around which so many of those unreported news stories revolve.
Glenn M. Heller, editor