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Journalism’s survival hits another rough Patch

NORWALK Conn. — For those of us in the business, when a newspaper or news website dies, it is like a death in the family. When one is terminally ill, it is like having a relative with, as my mother used so glibly put it, one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.

My mother came from a large family and was 10 years removed from her siblings, so she, by then, had become somewhat inured to loss. But I digress.

When Patch laid off 40 percent of its workforce nationally – about 480 people — and closed or merged 40 percent of its sites, we greeted the news with an unfortunate combination of smug “I told you so,” sadness for all the journalists, good and bad, who lost their jobs, and a bit of a shiver up the spine.

See, we’ve been there. NancyOnNorwalk exists, at least in part, because we have been there. We can and do sympathize with Patch’s people. We know first-hand how tough it is for a news operation — especially an online operation — to make enough money to stay in business, and we know how nearly impossible it is for a couple of people our age to find a job.

That’s why NancyOnNorwalk was born. We love what we do, but had nowhere to do it, especially the way it should be done. That’s why we don’t do inane fluff and press releases. We care about journalism and where it is headed. We care about the news. And we care about our community.

Yes, here it comes: Our initial request for donations was greeted warmly by many people. We took in enough to survive the rest of the summer and into early fall. But money is a funny thing. It runs out quickly. So we are coming back to you, hat in hand, and asking again. If you like what we do; if you believe we provide a valuable service to Norwalk’s citizens; if you believe that we should be compensated for our efforts, please consider a donation.

We will, in the coming weeks, be adding a feature that will allow recurring monthly donations. For now, we have the donation button to the right of this story, or you can send a check made out to Englewood Edge LLC, P.O. Box 65, Norwalk, CT 06856. (Englewood Edge LLC is the parent company named for our original site.)

Help us continue being Norwalk’s alternative source for news about your government, and about how those who run Norwalk in your name, on your dime, are spending your tax dollars.

Comments

2 responses to “Journalism’s survival hits another rough Patch”

  1. Joe Espo

    The unfortunate aspect of what would otherwise be your admirable venture seems to be the editorial programming of grudge journalism. There’s the “I told you so” Schadenfreude theme that you admit to, as it relates to the Patch; there’s the underlying enmity that you and Nancy harbor for the Voice because you’ve both been “released” from its employ, and then there’s the outright malice toward the incumbent Norwalk mayor and everything republican because of tape-gate. Your raison d’être as expressed in your mission statement -” (NON)…exists to pull the curtain back and shine a spotlight on how Norwalk is run and what is happening regarding issues that have an impact on taxpayers’ pocketbooks and safety” has not quite been fulfilled with the “independence” that you claim. Stories that you run have an obvious anti-Moccia and anti-republican perspective, the pictures you post of the mayor are almost always far from benign but decidedly derogatory- depicting angry faces and unbecoming poses-, and the issues you explore are almost always designed to find fault with the administration, the coalition of disaffected democrats that are in the republican caucus, and the Mayor’s commission appointees. You’ve trashed Republican appointees Kruk and Dunne, but no democrats. It’s quite obvious that your pronouncement that “as an independent site, NancyOnNorwalk’s first and only allegiance is to the reader” should be modified to read: “as an independent site, NancyOnNorwalk’s first and only allegiance is to the democrat reader”
    .
    I doubt many republican candidates will be buying banner ads on your site leading up to the election. That’s half the universe of political candidates from which you can derive financial sustinance. And that’s your loss, unfortunately.
    .
    The ascendency of a new fondness and appreciation for the brand of journalism practiced by The Hour is palpable, thanks to you.

    (Editor’s note: Factual errors: Nancy was not released from The Daily Voice’s employ, she resigned. Mark was laid off along with about half the staff when the company hit the financial skids, long after NON was online. Also, another error. The word is Democratic. Capital D. There’s an “ic” on the end of the word when referring to the Democratic Party. To use the intended pejorative bastardization of the official name of the party betrays a strong bias that certainly informs your comments.)

  2. John Levin

    I have lived in Norwalk for 22 years. During that time, I have found The Hour often appears in the role of mouthpiece for the Republican incumbents. I can live with that–it’s privately owned (by a family trust, is that right?), they have a business to run, and employees to pay. However, I also find the quality of The Hour’s reporting usually to be pathetic, it’s editorial content frequently inane and poorly informed, and it’s pages generally devoid of anything that might be considered even slightly “progressive”. My subscriptions dwindled from daily, to weekends, to now: nothing.

    I am relatively new to NON – it’s been only about a month or so since I started reading. But it took me about a day from my first visit to vote with my pocketbook and make a donation, as requested by your site. I find your site and content to be interesting, informative, well-written, well-researched, and timely. I am that citizen, taxpayer, and voter who needs to be well informed. You give me what I need. Of course I shall donate again, and I shall urge others to do so as well.

    Seperately: anti-progressive forces in Norwalk, must be fuming at the mere existence of NON. Also, thank you for filtering the comments. You have set a standard that TheHour.com does not approach.

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