32363944-020815231It took 16 pages for the Courant to get around to reporting on its next giant step into the abyss.  (That’s like placing a major story between weather and the commercial break in a newscast.)  It was in the business section, because, after all, it’s business.  

It was a “Courant Staff Report,” no byline.  Cold.  And was there was a gag order on the survivors?  No goodbyes to the Pazniokas’s and the Grants from Helen Ubiñas in her column.  No tip of the hat to Matt Eagan from Paul Doyle on the sports page.  Thanks for playing, and good luck!

If you’re wondering, I don’t know any of those people, though I have had minimal contact with one or two. (Most of my Courant amigos have either been laid off or retired.  Experience and institutional memory can be expensive, you know.) 

But I feel as if I know them.  Because I read the words they write every day, and good writing comes from within.  (Aaaaargh!!!  The Bee Gees song “Words” just popped into my head!!!  Damn, damn, damn!)  

Without original local reporting and writing, the Courant means nothing to me.   And with each round of cutbacks, it means less and less.  I’ve already seen the rest of what’s in the paper the night before, on our own newscasts and on the wire. 

I feel for those who have lost their jobs, I feel for those who have watched their colleagues lose their jobs,  I feel for us, and I feel for Connecticut.  Because every city, every region, is defined, in part, by its newspaper

I don’t know of any city that’s defined by a web site.  And despite how quickly things are changing, I don’t believe I ever will.


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
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4 Responses to PAGE A16

  1. Tony C says:

    Cities, regions, also are defined by their TV and radio newspeople — especially TV — because we invite you into our homes daily, we know you, we know your faces. I did know Steve Grant and Mark Pazniokas personally, mostly because early in our careers we were on opposite sides of the aisle, but I have always had the greatest respect for them, still do. They, and the others, will be missed.

  2. Gerry says:

    I appreciate that Tony. What I meant was that newspapers develop national reputations (some greater than others), and that cities can be known for their newspapers as much as anything else. For instance, I don’t know much about Des Moines, but I’m familiar with the Register.

  3. Joan says:

    Not only is it sad, but it was most cruelly managed by the powers that be. News staff were told on Tues to expect calls that evening. I happened to be attending an event that a few Courant folk were also at and everyone was checking their cell phones all night wondering if the grim newspaper reaper would come calling. A sad day for journalism and Connecticut. Half the (entire 2 person) capitol bureau, no more Washington bureau, no more beat writers on environment and religion (education went by the wayside in the summer wave of cuts). Government can only be held accountable by a vigilant press (Thank you WHPD Chief Jim Strillacci for those words) And I want to start my days with a genuine paper newspaper and a cup of coffee, but as you alluded to in another post, it barely gets us thru the coffee anymore. Sad, sad, sad.

  4. Graham says:

    We’ve talked about the demise of the the Courant before, but it sure seems like the end is near. The worst part is the damage it does to the employees and former employees and their families.

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