Bay State Banner suspends publication

The Banner, which serves Boston's black community, announced today it is suspending operations. Publisher Mel Miller's statement:

After careful consideration the Bay State Banner has decided to suspend publication. The severe reduction of advertising during this recession has placed an impossible burden on the resources of the 44 year old weekly newspaper. The Bay State Banner will resume publication only after satisfactory financial arrangements have been completed.

But! It may only be an attempt to interest investors; Miller says it's only for a couple weeks - although one advertiser reported getting back this response to a question about the paper folding:

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.

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This really sucks

From what I can see, Roxbury doesn't have its own neighborhood newspaper -- the Banner covers that neighborhood as well as the African-American community in general. What will fill this void?

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Voting is closed. 11

hardly a publicity stunt

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Layoffing off great employees in this economy is hardly a publicity stunt. Going without a paycheck for months to stem the tide is hardly a publicity stunt. This is wreaking havoc on a lot of our lives at the Banner - hardly hardly hardly a publicity stunt. There are a lot of tears at the Banner this week.

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Voting is closed. 9

This is a relief

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What a relief. I've been reading the Banner for 30 years, treating it as a duty to support a local paper, hoping against hope for something worth the effort.

Every week I wonder why I bother. Among the larding of wire service stories, the abysmal local reporting, the infantile political cartoon, predictable editorializing, there was rarely a tid-bit that made me glad I had spent the time turning the pages.

The arts writing was decent. The recent stories on the BRA duplicity regarding the parcel across Tremont St from Police headquarters was informative.

But, the Exemplars of Black Achievement-style of writing that infested all the stories was consistently tedious, suited for the late 1970s and mid 1980s. Who cares that Flash Wiley is such a swell?

The Boston Bulletin, Boston Courant, South End News, Bay Windows, Dorchester Reporter, Fenway News, the Phoenix, the Dig—what am I leaving out?—provide ten times the local reporting the Banner ever did. Except, except...their reporting catchments all seem to stop just shy of Roxbury city limits and of the blacker precincts of Dorchester.

If this stunt finally gets fresh blood onto the staff and a fresh perspective into the writing, then I say, Good job Mel, enjoy your nice vacation.

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Voting is closed. 8

coincidence that they recently took on Menino

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Is it a coincidence that the Banner recently said "no self-respecting African American can vote for Menino if he chooses to run again" and now they have to fold? Menino is well known to squash dissent and hold grudges. I wouldn't be suprised if he let it be known that companies that advertise in the Banner would be on his enemies list.

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Voting is closed. 9

Why don't you find out?

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If there were truth to the story, and you investigated and reported it in the right way, you could take down the administration.

However, public unsubstantiated speculation influences only the uneducated, and looks dumb to everyone else.

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Voting is closed. 8