Brief snippet in Wednesday's April 8 Tribune: "Last Sun Bulletin will be published April 15" "The Tribune is ceasing publication of the Central Coast Sun Bulletin, a weekly that has served the Estero Bay communities for 78 years. . . . 'This is a painful but necessary step as we face a pronounced economic downturn,' said Tribune Publisher and President Bruce G.Ray.' . . . News and feature coverage of Morro Bay, Los Osos and Cayucos will continue to be covered in The Tribune . . . ."
Sign of the times. The L.A. Times is disappearing before our eyes, the Tribune is getting anorexic, Sun Bulletin gone . . . what's next? While loss of national newspapers and national news coverage is bad enough, a lot of that is picked up on the internet sites. But loss of strictly local community news coverage is truly bad. It has always been a supreme irony that the stuff that has the most impact on our daily lives -- local politics, local elections, local government decisions, local taxes, fees, regulations -- are often the very stuff that falls off the radar. Community newspapers are killingly hard to keep alive, yet without a strong community news source, the public is ill served. So we'd best pray for The Bay News now. Heck, pray for all the papers.
On a personal note, I'm sad to see the paper that gave birth to "Calhoun's Can(n)ons" is gone. Waaaaay back in 1990, then local section editor, Bill Morem, asked me to write a column, even thought up the name, which I gleefully and gratefully appropriated (Thanks Bill!) and with the first Jan '90 column, have been scribbling ever since.
And that's another thing that goes missing when community papers die: individual, local "voices." While most of us with computers have access to national "voices," national columnists and famous Op/Ed writers, it's the loss of our own, homegrown local voices that is most unfortunate. Both the Sun Bulletin and the Bay News were wonderful about making room for a variety of those local writers, some funny, some serious, but all authentic and with a home-grown, local voice.
That will be missed.