Saturday, December 7, 2013

'I feel your pain'

The following article appears in the final/December issue of The Scope, an independent alternate newspaper that focused on local arts, culture and affairs in the St. John's core.

The late, great RAY GUY once wrote that over the course of his journalistic career he had up to a dozen horses/publications shot out from under him.

So, in the summer of 2008 when The Independent newspaper was forced to close, he tried to offer some cheer to the editorial crew that mourned the loss of our beloved mount.

Only there was little cheer to be found, and the only encouragement Ray could muster was to write that he knew what we were feeling. “Who was it said: ‘I feel your pain.’”

I have always admired the independence and clarity with which The Scope has served and informed its readership. 

It quickly evolved into the downtown St. John’s paper.

Indeed, all of us turned to The Scope for advice on where to go and what to see — it captured the community’s cultural core.

But the journalistic landscape has turned fluid in recent years. 

A slew of newspapers have fallen besides The Indy — the Sunday Telegram, the X-Press, the Humber Log and, most recently, the Placentia Charter.

There’s an old saying that newspapers never run out of ink. 

And they don’t — it’s the ink that's running out of paper.

Print media struggles with the challenge of catering to an electronic generation that’s reluctant to pay for its news. 

An even bigger challenge may be maintaining journalistic standards and ethics.

Still, there’s hope — The Pearl newspaper was birthed in recent weeks to service Mount Pearl and Southlands. 

It’s got potential — with decent layout and design, solid photography and clean copy.

To Elling, Bryhanna, and your staff and columnists, thank you for seven solid years of publication and assuring that the fundamentals of journalism have touched at least one more generation.

There’s a proud tradition of alternative papers in St. John’s. 

Let’s hope there’s someone with as much skill and gumption to pick up the torch.

And yes, St. John’s and the downtown feel your pain with the loss of another fine steed.

But what a wonderful ride it was.

Ryan Cleary, 
MP St. John's South-Mount Pearl 

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