Original Publication Date: 02 August 2011
The future of one of The Park’s oldest newspapers hangs in the balance, as executives at The Mollusk Messenger meet tomorrow morning to weigh the financial consequences of recent editorial decisions.
Sources close to owner and Chief Financial Officer, Evander Slak, say he blames editor-in-chief, Angelika Cowrie, for the decrease in the newspaper’s readership and its resultant impact on the bottom line.
“She was too hard…she wouldn’t bend at all when it came to responding to what our readers wanted,” said one ex-employee who spoke to The Mammalian Daily on condition of anonymity.
What the readers wanted, according to surveys conducted by the newspaper itself, was more commentary on the news and less “reporting at a distance,” the ex-employee says.
“It’s a fast-changing world and they were simply too slow,” agreed Braydon Raubtier, a journalist with the Dingo Boomerang.
Those who work with Cowrie, a graduate of the Cuthbert School of Journalism at the University of West Terrier, say she is a “traditionalist,” and one who believes that it is wrong to make the reporter part of the story. The Messenger is one of the few newspapers that does not publish personal columns or opinion pieces.
“That’s all well and good, but if your readers want your opinion, you’d better give it to them or they’ll go somewhere else to get what they want,” says Noburu Akita, Executive Director of the Centre for the Study of Newspaper Activity in The Park (C-SNAP).
The Mollusk Messenger is not the only Park newspaper that is suffering financially, however. With readership down and advertising revenues imploding, it has been difficult for most Park newspapers to keep going without making drastic changes.