...it speaks volumes, and it's happening right here.
Today when newspapers across the country are laying off editorial staffs to please Wall Street's demand for better bottom lines, it is unheard of for journalists to turn down almost any job. It's unheard of, that is, except here on Cape Cod.
In the past few weeks, these two events came to our attention;
And one reason might be...
The Cape Cod Times has a highly unusual editorial management tradition.
It allows its top editors to live outside its circulation area. Below are the top three names on the editorial staff directory followed by the towns they live in;
We called it a "tradition" because these top editors have lived in towns far removed from the give and take of Cape Cod since before they took their positions, and remain there in some cases decades later. In addition, several reporters live off cape. Some readers including this one believe this "distance learning" is hurting our local daily during tough times for newspapers in general.
I've been around newsrooms for half a century from the Greenwich CT Times, New York Post to MPG Communications and The Cape Codder, and I never knew a managing editor who thought it was not critical to live in the environment about which they wrote and managed the news coverage.
Rub hide with the herd or they will turn on you
When I took a pay cut to work for The Cape Codder here in 1965 it never occurred to me not to move to Cape Cod. Editor John Ullman told me my salary included "psychic benefits" like already being here in our sandy paradise after work each day and on weekends. Over the years most of the story ideas and news leads I get are during hours I am not in my office but out in the community "rubbing hide with the herd, or they will turn on you" as editor Mal Hobbs (on right) admonished me years ago.
I know that Bill Breisky who served as editor of the Cape Cod Times for seventeen years before Schechtman moved here before starting the job. Previous to that he was a magazine writer and editor in Philadelphia PA, a newspaper editor and publisher in Enfield, CT, a public relations director for the government of Bermuda, an editor at a Dover NH daily newspaper, and in all those instances as well, he moved to the venue about which he was to handle the news coverage.
Women's dresses designed to stop traffic
I have picked up scoops in places like my grandson's baseball games in Brewster, and as recently as last night sitting at Alberto's Ristorante on Main Street in Hyannis I spotted a woman dancing in a store window directly across the street. That too became a news story.
By walking across Main Street between my Fried Calamari and my Mussels Fra Diavolo I spoke with and photographed London Hall (in white dress in the window) at her dress shop London Bridges Women at 349 Main Street where she was bringing her savvy New York marketing to our local retail center. That's her "relief model" Leah on this side of the glass.
London's shop's motto is "Women's dresses designed to stop traffic", and it surely did last evening in Hyannis, but I would not have know this if I lived off cape.