Not Deferential Enough: A year of New Maine Times

Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2012 in Opinion

Not Deferential Enough: A year of New Maine Times

by Gina Hamilton

Somehow, we did it.  We incorporated our little media empire on March 15, 2011, which means that tomorrow, we'll officially be a year old.

It'll be a quiet celebration ... we can't really afford any other kind ... but we're still here, which says something. I'm not sure what, but it says something.  And we'll be around for another year, too.  And another after that.

Would it help to have more money? For certain.  Would it help to have sales people? Yep. Would it help to have a reliable grant writer? Yep again.  But the writers and reviewers and the photographers and my indomitable right arms, my graphic designer Kelsey Raymond and my copy editor, Jan Brennan, have been towers of strength and fortitude.  I would like to take this space to thank every single one of them who has written, photographed, or helped out over the last year in any way:

Jean Anthony, Chris Bouchard, Jan Brennan, William Bushnell, Lee Cart, Brandon Carter, Steve Cartwright, Tyler Drumm, Jeffrey Harmon, Avery Hunt, Fred Kahrl, David Kaler, Paul Kando, Michael Kelly, Alice True Larkin, Hugh Magpie, Marian McCue, Wesley McNair, David Platt, Tristan Radtke, Kelsey Raymond, Robert Skoglund (The humble Farmer), Lauren Tarantino, Denise Tepler, Harrison Thorp, Raye Tibbitts, David Treadwell, and LC Van Savage.  Words cannot express my personal gratitude to all of you.  Thanks also to all the poets, letter writers, and commentators who have submitted writing to us, and to Tilbury House Press, for their wonderful gift of 250 copies of Peter Cox's (of the old Maine Times) memoir, "Journalism Matters."   If I have inadvertently forgotten anyone, please forgive me, and know I include you in my thanks.

We're becoming pretty well known in the statehouse, in the White House, and in your house, too.  Our readership numbers grow weekly.  We'll be joining the Maine Press Association this year. 

While we've been growing in our baby way, what has been happening to other media outlets has been nothing short of tragic.  We lost a whole string of weeklies in the midcoast, then were gratified to learn that Reade Bower was reopening most ... but not all ... of them.  Some of our bigger cousins are hanging on by a thread; it was touch and go whether Maine's largest city would have a daily newspaper this year.

Newspapers keep us informed, keep us entertained, and prevent the tyranny of government by tattling on them when they get out of line.  It's hard to imagine any town without a strong news organization, but especially a major market like Portland.  Or a major region like the midcoast.

We members of the media can't function as small encapsulated organizations anymore.  Our job shouldn't be to destroy our competitors; indeed, we should be working together to achieve our mutual mission.  Reade Bower, who owns a competitor weekly in Rockland, knew that. Our collective hat is off to Mr. Bower.

And so it gives me pleasure to tell you that another alliance has been forged ... between the New Maine Times and the Portland Sun.  We have given their publisher permission to reprint some of our stories.  It's a win-win.  The Portland Sun will gain some exceptionally good copy, and the New Maine Times will gain new readers and more exposure. 

We aren't sure when the Sun will start picking up our copy, but look for us soon.

This is also time to ask our loyal readers to join our alliance.  Our annual campaign is beginning, and we would welcome donations in any amount from our readers.  Our suggested "subscription" is just $35, but you can donate any amount.  Just click on our donate button and give safely via PayPal, or send a check to us at PO Box 986, Bath, Maine 04530.  If you donate $50 or more, we'll send you a copy of Peter Cox's memoir, "Journalism Matters", with our sincere thanks and compliments.

Thank you again for your support over the past year, and we hope to have you continue as faithful readers for years to come!

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