Memo to Republican American newspaper

Here’s a memo to the Waterbury-based Republican American.  Repeat after me:  “Register Citzen! Register Citizen! Register Citizen!”

As a member of the media, I love following the media.  And I still read newspapers, although most of the time it’s the on line edition.  That’s why it amazes me, especially with a more media-savvy public, that the industry refuses to mention the competition, or bends over backward to avoid directly mentioning the competition, except when it involves a negative news story.

For instance, take the 5th District Congressional debate, among Republican Party candidates, staged in Torrington Monday afternoon.  The debate was sponsored by the Torrington Register Citizen, a direct competitor to the Republican American.  The Register Citizen has beaten the pants off the Republican American in its coverage of the 5th District race, a race which is drawing national attention from the two major parties.  The coup de grace was its sponsorship of the debate, an event even the Republican American had to cover.  However, nowhere in the story did the Republican American mention the debate was hosted by the Register Citizen.  It only referenced the paper’s parent company, when identifying the debate moderator as editor of one of three Yardley, Pa. -based Journal Register Co. newspapers.  How can we believe the newspaper’s credibility, when it won’t mention it’s competition, simply because it was the sponsor of the debate?   It would be like proclaiming a Republican American event is sponsored by the Waterbury, Ct. – based American-Republican Inc.  Even the Hartford Courant wrote about the Register Citizen and its sister newspaper, the Litchfield County Times, in its debate coverage.

The Republican American cannot be that insecure, can it?  So insecure that it feared mentioning its competitor in print, because it was the sponsor of a widely covered and well received event?   The readers of the Republican American – and count me as a paid subscriber – deserved better.   I am a fan of the Republican American, particularly of its editorial content.  Their local news coverage is superb.  They have, arguably, the best investigative reporter in the business in Brigitte Ruthman, who continues to out perform the competition, statewide, with her in-depth investigative stories.   (See her piece on how a Superior Court judge was contacted by a suspect in the still unsolved murder of Mary Badaracco.  Only now is the rest of the media getting around to the story.)   But not to mention the Register Citizen by name came off as petty.

That said, I will remain a subscriber.  My cup of  joe and the Pape-run, Waterbury, Ct.-based American-Republican Inc., are the perfect morning combination, along with the rest of the newspapers I read.  But in the interest of credibility, the Republican American editors should know, readers are paying attention on what is or what is not included in a story.

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