Our lead story on the 11PM news on Thursday was about massive job cuts at the Hartford Courant. 25% of the workforce eliminated at Connecticut’s largest newspaper. The Courant’s parent company Tribune ordered the cuts, along with staff reductions at other Tribune papers across the country. The Trib cited declining advertising revenues as the reason. It is no secret newspapers across the country have been losing readers for years, as more and more people get their news from the internet.
I’m a newspaper purist and a daily reader of the Hartford Courant. Kara and I get it delivered and we read it over breakfast. On Sundays, our daughter Helena loves to move sections of the Courant from one couch onto another, creating a messy pile that she is quite proud of.
I delivered newspapers as child: the Boston Herald and the Boston Herald, formerly the Record American. It whetted my appetite for journalism. I would read the paper as I walked from house to house in our neighborhood. I vividly remember the headline “NIXON RESIGNS” in the summer of ’74.
I’ve always read the local paper, no matter where I lived: the Manchester Union Leader, the Rockford Register-Star, the Chicago Tribune and Sun Times, the Grand Rapids Press, the Kalamazoo Gazette, the Detroit Free Press, the South Haven Tribune, the Newport Daily News, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinal Lauderdale and the now defunct Norwood Times. I cannot imagine not having a newspaper to hold in my hands.
I have a particular fondness for the Courant because I know several people who work there, and who work very hard on stories. The Courant also has a rich history….first published in 1764. That’s amazing. Think about what the world was like then. The Old State House wasn’t even built yet. Connecticut was a British colony. WFSB has a rich history, but ours only began in 1957. I think many of us at Channel 3 have always felt a bit of bond with our brethren at the Courant….sort of like bread and butter. They are most read newspaper in our state, and we are the most watched television station.
The internet has changed the way the Courant operates, as it did to our operation here at WFSB. Our websites are now a huge part of what we do.
Anyway, I will continue to read the Courant every day and hope that the paper version never disappears.