It’s easy for media management to use staff in the cause of trumpeting “public-service journalism” during a crisis, but staff has no control over providing free website access during “a global pandemic.” Only management can do that. Hearst Connecticut Media that owns the Connecticut Post and a bunch of other media outlets in Connecticut continues to require a fee to read its coronavirus coverage while some media outlets have suspended website paywalls.
The New York Times:
We are providing free access to the most important news and useful guidance on the coronavirus outbreak to help readers understand the pandemic.”
Wendy Metcalfe, vice president of content and editor-in-chief at Hearst Connecticut Media writes, “As each of our editors, reporters, photographers, columnists, digital producers, print production team members and many others balanced the needs of their own families and their health and safety, they continued to fully step up to bat for our readers … As intense public concern mounts, not only are we publishing news that matters, we are doing so with heart.”
How has management stepped up for readers? How has management utilized its heart? We emailed Wendy for a comment. No response.
News of the coronavirus hitting had been ramping up quickly that day. With two cases already confirmed among hospital workers within Connecticut’s health network, confirmation of the first presumptive positive case in the state broke around noon on Sunday, March 8.
Our team of almost 200 newsroom staff at Hearst Connecticut Media Group was doing what journalists do–bringing our readers important news in the time of a crisis. Public-service journalism, which results in societal good or change, runs deep in our veins. It fuels us to act quickly, responsibly and thoroughly, heightened furthermore at a time that has now become a global pandemic.
As each of our editors, reporters, photographers, columnists, digital producers, print production team members and many others balanced the needs of their own families and their health and safety, they continued to fully step up to bat for our readers. The many communities we serve across Connecticut are our communities as well. We are your neighbors, our children attend the same schools, we shop at the same grocery stores, attend similar events. Why does this matter? As intense public concern mounts, not only are we publishing news that matters, we are doing so with heart.
Full column here.
Good point Lennie. I was thinking the same.
Self Service versus Service-above-Self.
I am a daily subscriber (and reader) of the Post from years ago, over 50, when it was Bridgeport to today when it is Connecticut. But I have been slower than many to depend on internet NEWS versions in the light of 2020 realities:
Back in the day I heard and remembered the words of:
** Sergeant Joe Friday (Jack Webb): Just the facts, ma’m, just the facts! ….or
**Mayor Ed Koch: How’m I doing, folks? How’m I doing?
So we will coordinate our computers and services and news subscriptions, Mary Lou and I, order the special online service to complement our daily delivery, where sudoku and crossword are daily on paper, and where earlier efforts or targeted work of 200 Hearst Media Group reporters may provide an important advantage to choices and or decisions we may face locally. $$$$ for news. If no news, value shopping offers free cancellation. Time will tell.
Nothing wrong with paying for a service that is consumed. Even OIB is not free. We are subjected to advertising as a cost. Do you think Mr. Grimaldi would continue this blog without pay? How about it sir? What say you? Suspend or donate all revenue (to Bridgeport Public schools of course) from advertising until the pandemic passes?
Doubtful as any human that runs a business you have employees to pay and (rightfully) expect to be rewarded for your efforts.
Baloney Joe-So. You cannot hold yourself out as “public-service” journalism during a crisis and then disingenuously charge a fee for the “service.” Many news outlets have suspended paywalls in support of a public-service journalism. OIB provides free access all the time. It also provides you a forum for free when you contact me and say please put this up? I didn’t hear you complaining then. It’s advertising that keeps this place alive so that you have a free-access forum to highlight the education issues close to you. You should embrace the advertising partners, not demean them, that help provide you a free-access forum.
Lennie sorry you saw that as a complaint. Was just a comparison. I also ask the ct post and various other news sites to post my information, sometimes they do sometimes they don’t. As does Oib. You both do a “public” service and both rightfully expect to be compensated for your effort. I take it that it’s a no on donating ad revenues to BPS? We could really use the $$z
Would that be a permitted tax write off?
I encourage any and all to donate to our Bridgeport public schools.
Hearst shouldn’t be allowed to buy-out any more of the alternative news sources that serve Connecticut. They already have a virtual monopoly on the traditional-newspaper territory and have started the process of gobbling-up other alternative media sources… They are in territory that needs further legislative restrictions on monopolistic maneuvering/pursuit… There are still plenty of other news sources, however — especially for national news — that are far better than any Hearst provision — and they do a fairly-poor job on the local and state level most of the time, with notable reporter exceptions (Brian Lockhart, Ken Dixon, et. al.)…
In any event; Hearst is not terribly concerned about any civic responsibility in Connecticut east of Westport…
And Rob Sokolovic; comparing Lennie/OIB to Hearst and admonishing him to part with his hard-won, not-lavish advertising revenues can be described in terms of some unflattering adjectives — though OIB is not without its own compromising, journalistic conflicts of interest. Maintaining OIB as such is obviously a struggle, and Lennie deserves some slack…
Hearst is Republicrat publication that increasingly caters to an affluent, effite-liberal readership that is increasingly at conflict with the interests of urban Connecticut… They are becoming increasingly irrelevant for that latter segment of Connecticut’s news audience — which is why they are so desperate for revenue that they can’t pass-up an opportunity to exploit this market in a crisis-context where there is a rare circumstance of temporary relevance for them in that market…