White noise: Initial news reports on July 20 that five black men had raped a woman on the Back Cove trail in Portland on the night of July 19 prompted dozens of comments on the Web site of the Portland Press Herald, many of them openly racist.
Both sides of the line: No Maine newspaper or television station has a reporter based in Washington. The MaineToday Media newspapers keep making vague promises about hiring a District of Columbia-based correspondent to cover the state’s congressional delegation, but nothing has come of it, so far. The papers haven’t had a presence on Capitol Hill since their previous owners, the Blethen family, shut down its one-person D.C. bureau in 2008.
Cutler gets the coverage: Those who still harbored doubts the Portland Press Herald is using its news pages to back the Independent gubernatorial candidacy of Cape Elizabeth resident Eliot Cutler may have found some resolution for their unsettled state of mind in the July 13 edition of the paper. The Press Herald’s local section could have been mistaken for a Cutler campaign brochure.
Connor gets one right: The Kennebec Journal in Augusta and Morning Sentinel in Waterville were doing reasonably well before Richard Connor came along. The two small dailies had suffered from the financial problems afflicting their owners, the Blethen family, but had managed to maintain enough local coverage and sufficiently feisty editorial pages to keep a lot of their readers satisfied.
Old news: Maine Web News claims to be “forming the trends of tomorrow.” Unfortunately, its pilot episode is seven years out of date.
Maine Web appears to be an attempt to produce a video-cast of state news from a conservative point of view. But in its haste to blame the world’s ills on liberals, it blundered badly in its initial episode, which seems to have been posted earlier this week.
Mainely marred: The story in the July 4 Maine Sunday Telegram was unremarkable. A woman had started a Web site offering coupons for deals at Portland-area salons.
Similar sites are common, and nothing in the article by staff writer Stephanie Hardiman indicated why MainelyMara.com was being singled out for coverage. Nothing, that is, except for the proprietor’s last name.
From the SJ to the KJ: Lewiston Sun Journal State House reporter Rebekah Metzler is switching newspapers, but not beats. Metzler is moving to the Kennebec Journal next week to become part of MaineToday Media’s State House bureau, according to KJ managing editor Tony Ronzio. She fills the spot left open by the departure of Ethan Wilensky-Lanford earlier this month.
MaineToday Media CEO Richard Connor published his assessment of his first year of owning the Portland Press Herald, Maine Sunday Telegram, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel in the June 27 edition of those papers.
To no one’s surprise, Connor’s view is universally optimistic. Not to mention grandiose and more than a little misleading. Or maybe he’s just deluded. It’s sometimes hard to tell.
I’d like to be more enthusiastic about the way Lewiston Sun Journal reporter Lindsay Tice is covering the controversy at the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board. But I’m having a difficult time because it appears Tice is relying on one of the parties involved in the dispute for most of her information, rather than aggressively following up and digging up the facts herself.
Born on the Fourth of July: Independence Day will mark the official launch of the Maine Observer, a Web site that claims it will be “a comprehensive online news source for the state of Maine.”
Depends on your definition of “comprehensive,” I guess.