It’s the end of an era for community journalism

Chris Maza

In the Longmeadow News’ third issue on Sept. 3, 1969, there was an editorial that outlined many of my feelings about my time in this community.

“Although we have had a few constructive criticisms – everyone knows how to edit a newspaper and is seldom bashful about telling us how – the comments have been generously complimentary, and we have had plenty of bouquets, ‘congratulations,’ ‘good luck and good wishes,’ ‘fine for the community’ and other encouraging remarks.

“All of this makes the struggle worthwhile. Putting together a newspaper, emphasizing the NEWS, gathering it, writing it, and finally getting it into print and distributed, is not as easy as it might seem to those of you who hold the finished product in your hand and take pleasure reading it.”

OK, I don’t think I’ve received any bouquets, but generally, I have found the community’s support for its little community weekly heartening and gratifying.

With that said, I am sad to say that publication of the Longmeadow News will be discontinued. The final issue will be distributed on Feb. 20.

In my brief time as editor, I attempted to keep the spirit of this newspaper as had been laid out by previous editors such as Hope Tremblay and Jeff Hanouille while enacting changes that I felt would enhance the quality and viability of this Longmeadow institution. Reminder Publishing LLC, the parent company of the Longmeadow News, has developed a successful model in which its free weekly publications have thrived. Unfortunately, the Longmeadow News does not fall within that model and, despite our best efforts, it has proven to be unsustainable. Therefore, the difficult decision was made to cease publication.

Account balances for Longmeadow News subscribers who are also subscribers of The Republican will be applied to the active Republican account. For subscribers without active Republican Newspaper accounts, balances will be refunded via mail. For questions or to subscribe to The Republican, please call 1-888-625-8028.

Being the one to announce the end of an era in journalism is certainly a dubious honor. The Longmeadow News has been part of the fabric of Longmeadow for more than 50 years. Members of the community have told me how much they have enjoyed its local news coverage, in-depth features, photography and special sections. A former town official once told me he never encountered a community with residents who were better informed and passionate about their community and I saw that every day. Fortunately for Longmeadow, Reminder Publications will maintain a strong presence in town with its flagship publication.

Personally, it is always hard to say goodbye to something you have taken ownership of and something into which you know so many have put countless hours and amounts of effort. There’s no easy way to say goodbye. In this case, I will just say thank you. Thank you to all of those who helped put these papers together every week, namely graphic designer Ren Normantowicz and account executive Ken Morrow. Thank you to the readers who let us be a part of your routine every week, welcomed us into your homes, and let us tell your stories. Thank you to the advertisers who continued to see the value in local journalism to the community.

Thank you.