Thursday, March 4, 2010

Documentary on the Press Airing Tonight

Anyone who cares about the near-death experience of your favorite hometown newspaper, The Bristol Press and how it was saved should watch a new documentary airing tonight at 8 and tomorrow night at 10 on CPTV.
Titled, "On Deadline: Is Time Running Out for the Press?" the film is only an hour long and packed with a lot of footage of people connected to the Press and to Bristol. I am sure you will see some familiar faces. You might learn more about what happened and you might have a few laughs along the way.
I don't want to give away all the good parts, but I will say that some of the finest moments include footage of the magnificent Steve Collins (cue cheering!) at work inside City Hall and giving a tour of the new Press office. It's riveting television, truly.
I'm in it, too, but I didn't say it was all good!
Filmmakers John and Rosemary Keogh O'Neil did a great job making everyone look and sound a lot better than they usually do. I know I speak for both Steve and myself when I say that we sincerely appreciate their interest in newspapers but especially in the Press.
We also are grateful to the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, which hosted the first screening of the documentary on Tuesday at a gala event. Gala? well, for journalists, anyway. It was the closest I'll ever come to the red carpet, for sure.
There was a panel discussion afterward with a number of journalists, including Steve, who made the excellent point that The Bristol Press was a good paper worth saving, which is why we tried so hard to get noticed and stir up enough attention that a buyer might hear about us. Ultimately, that's what happened. Steve has written extensively about it in The Bristol Blog, and this week posted a memo he wrote a little more than a year ago to state officials laying out the case for using what resources they had -- emphatically NOT asking for a bailout -- in hopes of saving 100 jobs and 13 community newspapers. It's worth looking at:
Mike Schroeder, our publisher, was also on the panel. He said when he bought the papers last year he was investing in journalism, not in a printing press. He said it is something that will never decrease in value.
"It's like buying gold," he said.


  1. Thanks for your thanks, Jackie, and for your wise words in the documentary "On Deadline," which as you say was aired last night but readers can catch again tonight (Friday March 5) at 10 on CPTV. You can also listen online to much of the panel, which John Dankosky aired on his Where We Live program on WNPR yesterday, at It starts with an interview with reporter Bob Woodward, then moves on to more significant journalistic figures like Steve at the 18-minute mark.

    Steve Courtney, Terryville
    Publications Editor, The Mark Twain House & Museum

  2. Steve, you guys did a wonderful thing by hosting that film. The Mark Twain House and Museum is not only a historical treasure, but a very happening place! And thanks for the radio link, too!
    As you can imagine, for me there is no more significant figure than Steve Collins!