Sad reality of print journalism punctuated by final issues for 5 dailies, others that use stories 5 times

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It was with a heavy heart that we read last week that two giants in the newspaper industry of Northern New England were each shedding the print publication of one of their daily papers.

The Union Leader of Manchester will no longer print a Saturday edition, instead offering up only its digital version.

And just days earlier we learned that Maine newspaper giant Masthead - which owns the Press Herald, Lewiston Sun Journal, Morning Sentinel of Waterville and Kennebec Journal of Augusta, would cease its print publication of their Monday editions.

But not only is the publication of print editions shrinking across the land, the competition is shrinking, too.

Look at Maine as an example. The state used to be fraught with competitive journalism. Now one publisher owns four of the five major dailies, with the Bangor Daily News the lone independently owned daily left.

In southeast New Hampshire Seacoast Media Group owns several newspapers including The Portsmouth Herald and Foster's, as well as weeklies in Hampton and Exeter and York, Maine.

And you can tell.

If you look at the different Seacoast Media Group newspapers online you'll notice one striking thing: they all look the same, many of them all carrying the same stories.

We guess it makes for a more profitable business, but local readers get it. They know when they're being played.

We think the public would rather have fewer physical newspapers and more physical news.

In the case of Masthead of Maine, officials said it was either cut reporters' jobs or end the print edition of their Monday papers. We think they made the right choice.

- HT

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January 12, 2020 at 5:22pm
It's a sad but true state of the news industry. As many locals know the Rochester Courier was fantastic, but it was basically Mike Whaley and John Nolan. When the Courier couldn't make a go they got sold to Foster's and then to Gatehouse. I believe they report local news by what is in the /Rochester facebook groups. I'm glad the voice is here to bring up stories BEFORE they show up on FB.
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