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Friday, July 10, 2009

Boston's Black Newspaper, Bay State Banner Suspends Publication

My hometown Boston newspaper, The Bay State Banner has suspended publication citing a loss of ad revenues. Unfortunately as reported by the Maynard Institute Boston's Bay State Banner has stopped the presses.

The weekly Bay State Banner is closing after 44 years.

AAPP: The weekly Bay State Banner is closing after 44 years. It's a damn shame that President Barack Obama's Stimulus Plan helped all the big corporations, banks and investment corporations, and did nothing for black businesses and newspapers like the Bay state Banner. The Bay state Banner is one of the few Black Newspapers that has covered the impact of Black bloggers."

I'm reminded of the article by Talia Whyte who wrote:

Today, through the use of the Internet and new media tools like blogs, YouTube and Twitter, everyone can make their voices heard. An increasing share of the African American community is taking the opportunity to do just that, including a number based here in Boston.

Many are choosing to use blogs as a medium for mobilizing around political and social justice issues. According to a 2007 study conducted by Brown University researcher Antoinette Pole, 85 percent of blacks use their blogs to engage in political advocacy and to raise money for charitable causes.

Though there has as yet been no scholarly follow-up to measure the effect of Barack Obama’s landmark presidential campaign on the black blogosphere, the explosion of online conversations about race in America and in American politics suggests that the percentage may have significantly increased.

The presidential campaign also helped some black bloggers become “cyber-celebrities.” Bloggers like Wain Bennett, the Philadelphia attorney behind Field Negro, Gina McCauley of the feminist site What About Our Daughters and Harvard graduate Baratunde Thurston, one of the founders of Jack & Jill Politics, have been featured in print and on air to offer their perspectives on the news of the day.

Recent political controversies in Boston have also been bantered about in the black blogosphere. On his popular blog African American Political Pundit, Roxbury native L.N. Rock covered closely — and sometimes harshly — the ongoing legal and financial woes of embattled former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and City Councilor Chuck Turner. More HERE

As Bob Oakes at WBUR noted, The ink has dried on what could be the last edition of Boston’s only African-American community newspaper. The weekly Bay State Banner has suspended publication amidst falling advertising revenues after more than four decades in print. More HERE

In an undated photograph, Dr. Charles Steward stands near the entrance of The Guardian, the weekly newspaper started by his brother-in-law William Monroe Trotter. Steward and his wife, Maude, ran the paper after Trotter’s death in 1934. Maude died in 1957 and with Dr. Steward’s blessing, Melvin B. Miller started the Banner eight years later. (Banner File Photo)

In an undated photograph, Dr. Charles Steward stands near the entrance of The Guardian, the weekly newspaper started by his brother-in-law William Monroe Trotter. Steward and his wife, Maude, ran the paper after Trotter’s death in 1934. Maude died in 1957 and with Dr. Steward’s blessing, Melvin B. Miller started the Banner eight years later. (Banner File Photo)

Media outlets, and trade publications from across the region and around America are reporting about my hometown newspaper.

It's interesting to note that one of the white newspapers, is finding the need to harass the Banner staff.

Boston Phoenix reporter Adam Reilly says:

A few minutes ago, I reported that, according to Bay State Banner publisher Melvin Miller, the Bay State Banner is just ceasing publication, not going out of business.

Now a Banner advertiser forwards a recent message from Sandra Casagrand, the Banner's VP/marketing and Miller's wife. Here it is:

I’m really sorry to report but the Banner is not publishing after this week’s paper. We cannot remain in business in this economic climate and will continue to look for new owners/investors while we are closed so at some point it can reopen and continue on its mission. Until then, there is no Banner. Real bummer – and sorry for the inconvenience. [emph. added]

Based on this, I'd say, I guess Boston like the rest of this country is not the post-racial community Barack Obama visions. The Boston Phoenix reporter Adam Reilly needs to get a life, and allow the Bay State Banner to do what it needs to do.

I salute Melvin Miller and his team, they have done a remarkable job over the years for all people in the Boston/NewEngland area.

Again, I saluate Melvin Miller and his team. It's too bad The Boston Phoenix and others don't know how to do the same thing.


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