Denny's Daily Zinger: When Your Newspaper Goes Bust, Can You Trust It?January 22, 2014 By Denny Hatch
To promote my upcoming book, WRITE EVERYTHING RIGHT, I traveled the country and the world (via the Internet) visiting every English-language newspaper.
The result, a private database of 21,584 Editors and writers in the U.S. plus several thousand more across the globe who should know about the book.
The Massachusetts Catastrophe
When I arrived in Massachusetts, I kept running into the same people at different newspapers—editors, managing editors and writers. They were at the same email address: @wickedlocal.com the signature of Gatehouse Media.
These were newspapers all over the state obviously run by cadre of powerful influencers with a few local writers to cover the hometown news.
[See the illustration in the media player at right for coverage of Gatehouse media in Massachusetts.]
In surfing the Internet, I found a horrifying story: Gatehouse Media—with more than 500 papers nationwide—was in Chapter 11. Busted. Bankrupt. And forced to deal with $1.2 billion in debt.
A terrifying corporate memo went out to the troops nationwide announcing the bankruptcy. Among the cutbacks, no more free coffee, no more free cups or plastic spoons, a tightening of expense accounts and this bombshell:
We will not be replacing general office supplies in the short term. Please conserve use of paper for copy machines.
Here is my question to the people of Massachusetts: Can you trust news coverage by people who have just had the living crap scared out of them and are facing the specter of unemployment?
Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His next book will be "Write Everything Right!" Visit him at dennyhatch.com or contact him at email@example.com.