The Bedford Minuteman announced they were ceasing print issues of the physical paper late last week: Gannett goes on a massive spree of closing and merging weekly newspapers, Media Nation, March 17, 2022. They also announced in February that Gannett, the parent company, was planning on making their local papers more regional in scope. Gannett’s Mass. weeklies to replace much of their local news with regional coverage Media Nation, February 6, 2022. None of this really is a surprise. Local newspapers have been going out of business at an alarming rate – nearly a quarter of all local newspapers have gone under since 2004. And that’s not counting the fact that there are fewer journalists covering local communities than ever before. The consequences are immense.
It is quite sad. The Bedford Minuteman had a long tradition of being the “local” paper. In recent years, even though the paper was still publishing, their focus on Bedford was getting smaller and smaller. A great example was the recent election. On their free site there was zero mention of the Bedford election. Zero! Contrast that to The Bedford Citizen which ran 55 stories on the election. 55-0!
The trend has been there for a long time. That was the impetus for starting the Citizen almost 10 years ago. While this sounds self-congratulatory (which it kind of is), just for a minute, imagine what the election might have looked like without The Bedford Citizen. Imagine if people were left understanding the candidates solely on what they read on social media. Nobody asking questions, nobody checking the facts. No central place to know what’s going on. Contrast that with what the Citizen did have: candidate announcements, coverage of the Caucus, reporting on candidate forums, and letters to the editor. And over 11,000 page views on Election Day – nearly double that of the 2021 election. .
It wouldn’t have been possible without you. You make publishing The Bedford Citizen a reality. With help from staff, volunteers, our board of directors, sponsors, and our donors – each of you helps us share the voice of the community. Thank you for your support.
WBUR had a good discussion on this subject, and at the risk of seeming immodest, they gave a nice shout out to The Bedford Citizen:
WBUR – March 22, 2022