The Daily News is increasingly like having the Fish & Game Magazine delivered to every door of a community full of PETA members!
The Daily News is all concerned about our fishing fleet. I’m concerned too but how many people in the Newburyport Area fish for a living?
The Daily News is all about construction, manufacturing and retail shops – how many of our citizens deal with these matters – an increasingly smaller number.
The fact is, the Daily News still assumes in a large part that it is dealing with a Newburyport community out of the 60’s & 70’s. A populace of carpenters, fisherman, laborers, factory workers and retail shop employees.
We still have these sectors but by an every shrinking minority. (most can’t afford to live here!)
We have drawn a considerable number of sophisticated citizens who commute to Boston to white collar jobs. We have an interesting mix of international professionals who may be in Newburyport one week and the next week walking in the streets of a Chinese city or in London; or across the country to Chicago and Los Angeles. Even our government employees enjoy a heightened sense of affluency.
All these groups want a high quality of life, focusing on good (professional and to high standards) government services and have an interest in quality schools, parks and safe neighborhoods. They are interested in maximizing their equity so their portfolio is healthy and the flexibility to do home improvements, large purchases (and yes, even vacations) They want their property values high for the same reasons.
In this last election, the glaring deficiencies have been seen in our local paper of record.
Waterfront. The Daily News is scratching its head why the issue didn’t work for many of the candidates or pull the encumbents out of office. It’s because the central message from even as far as Ward 6 was not the ‘open’ aspect or ‘park’ aspect but the priorities of the NRA which daringly considered it ‘their’ property. The NRA felt like N.A.I.D. who years ago convinced the citizens to give them money to buy land for an industrial park – but forgot it was given as a sacred trust to develop for everyone’s benefit. The idea of giving that trust over to a privileged developer who would never give it back absolutely incensed the entire city. (yes, even the Surbanites!)
Historic Preservation. As I explained in Paradigm Shift, the major struggle was in the background, far more intense than the waterfront issue and more angry and determined. It had to do with the future of our city. Without urban planning, without aesthetic protections and without professional and uniform improvements; the city’s major draw of uniqueness would be lost. There are negatives with such a strategy but the plusses far outweigh those drawbacks. It was all about sustaining our high quality of life that drew most to the polls. Those who understood and campaigned on historic preservation WON BIG! And it left the Daily News scratching its head and not ‘getting it’.
Schools. The new reality is that a growing majority of citizens expect an attractive, beautiful and affluent community to have excellent schools to match it. The schools do not exist solely as an employment resource for administrators and educators. The new demographic want quality school curriculums that are geared for higher standards that centers of higher learning require. Our schools have been mediocre for decades because they were geared to produce blue collar workers and “locals”. Pretty buildings and fattened employees aren’t going to do it. When has the paper of record addressed these substantial educational issues? The new demographic is going to insist on better schools. It aught to be one of the top subjects to be covered in the Daily News!
The irrelevancy of our local paper has nothing to do with being overshadowed by the Internet & social media. Ari Herzog was strong not over his 165-member group but the massive dog lobby that can see his contributions in just about every park in the city.
We need a local paper that not only is modern, (They’re online presence is spectacular and should be a good draw for advertisements) but one that reaches Newburyport not one located in Haverhill or Seabrook.
They have the resources – they just need to ‘accommodate’ to today’s new demographics.