Claremont Insider: News of the News

Sunday, September 28, 2008

News of the News

A reader who caught our post about the Claremont Courier's quality assurance problems had some thoughts on yesterday's Courier's city council report:

SUBJECT: demand grows for poor cell phone service
DATE: Saturday, September 27, 2008, 12:55 PM
TO: Claremont Buzz

The Claremont Currier:

"With the additional funding of $527,859, Padua Park will now host two soccer fields, one of them with lights, walking trails and native landscaping."

- A soccer field with native landscaping -- that's really gonna interfere with the passing game....

"The strawberry patch section of the property is privately owner."

"The Police Commission will bring the requested information back before the council by December, Commission Carol Painter said."

- I didn't realize the Carol Painter problem was serious enough to require its own committee.

"As demand grows for better cell phone coverage that is notoriously poor in many parts of the city..."

"The presence of the horses...provides an extra bonus."

- At the equestrian center.


Courier publisher Peter Weinberger, whose father Martin published and edited the paper for over 50 years, had a "My Side of the Line" column yesterday announcing the departure of Courier editor Rebecca JamesCourie. JamesCourie has been replaced by 30-year Claremont resident Kathryn Dunn, who had been working at the paper as a production editor.

Weinberger also wrote that he would be taking a more active hand in the paper's management:
So after working 30 years at 7 different newspapers, carrying a wide range of titles and responsibilities, I assume the role my father carried since before I was born. As many of my colleagues around the nation leave the newspaper industry crumbling around them, I feel fortunate to be managing this newspaper in such a great town. Let us not forget my parents are still keeping an eye on all stuff going on around Claremont. We are excited at what the future will bring.

But this story does not end yet. We have another announcement to make. The COURIER has promoted Kathryn Dunn to managing editor. She will run the daily operations of the newspaper by coordinating our news and editorial coverage. In my opinion, this is the most important job at the paper.

Ms. Dunn has the perfect background to handle her new role. She is a Claremont news junkie with a keen sense on what issues are important to us. She’s lived here for 30 years and is raising 2 young boys going through the Claremont school system. Ms. Dunn has worked at the COURIER for 17 years, working in almost every capacity during that time. She will continue to play a role in the design and story placement for future issues.

Good luck to Dunn, who will undoubtedly discover that the Claremont 400 can be a terror to deal with if they're displeased with the coverage they get on their issues. The pressure the Claremonsters bring can be pretty awful. The elder Weinberger was an expert at getting the real news out and at presenting balanced views of local issues without bowing to the peer pressure of people like current Mayor Ellen Taylor or former Mayor Judy Wright.

The town's doyennes are of the opinion that the Courier should be more of a community cheerleader, a kind of Chamber of Commerce newsletter, rather than a real newspaper. If the new editor and publisher can't maintain that balance, then expect more fluff, more of the party line, and a less representative portrait of the community.