Jan. 18, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
A public forum discussing the current state of the news media in Queens – and its outlook for the future – will take place on Jan. 19 from 2 p.m.
The forum, which is being organized by the Queens Chamber of Commerce via Zoom, will feature some of the borough’s leading media experts who will share their views on the rapidly-changing industry.
The group will discuss the impact COVID-19 lockdowns have had on the local news sector in Queens.
How have media outlets adapted to reporting and producing the news during these extraordinary times? What do these changes mean for the future of newsrooms and the coverage of community news?
Christian Murray, editor and co-publisher of the Queens Post, will be among the panelists. Murray established the Post in 2010 having previously worked for Newsday and Thomson Reuters.
Murray has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and won the New York State Associated Press Association award in business writing in 2002.
Other panelists include Mark Weidler, publisher of the Queens Chronicle; Tony Barsamian, editor and publisher of the Queens Gazette; Kate Bliss, publisher of the Metropolitan Airport News; David Brand, managing editor of the Queens Daily Eagle; Walter Sanchez, editor-publisher of the Queens Ledger/Brooklyn Star News Group and This is Queensborough magazine; and Tom Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce
Jeff Simmons executive vice president of Anat Gerstein will moderate the discussion.
Tickets to the event are free and interested participants are required to register in advance at the following link.
Queens residents once had their own daily Long Island Star Journal and Long Island Press until they went out of business in the 60s and 70s.
Weekly newspapers based in Queens such as the Queens Courier, Chronicle, Daily Eagle, Examiner, Forum, Gazette, Times Ledger, Wave and Woodside Herald provide more in depth coverage of local news not found in the remaining major daily newspapers.
We continue to be fortunate to live in one of the few remaining free societies, with a wealth of information sources available. Sadly, most American cities and suburbs are down to one local daily or weekly newspaper. Newspapers have to deal with increasing costs for newsprint, delivery and distribution along with reduced advertising revenues and declining readership.
In NYC and Queens — we have ongoing circulation battles between a number of daily newspapers. They face competition from other daily newspapers who have a strong presence in their own communities such as Long Island Newsday, Staten Island Advance, Journal News (Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Dutchess counties), Star Ledger & Bergen Record (New Jersey), Times Herald Record (Hudson Valley and Catskills) along with the the New York Times, Post and Daily News. There is also national editions of USA Today and the Wall Street Journal along with freebies such as AM New York Metro. More people turn to all news radio, national network news such as ABC, CBS, NBC along with thier local affiliates, News 1, FOX-5, WOR-9, WPIX-11 and PBS, cable new stations such as CNBC, CNN, FOX, BBC and the Internet for late braking news which can sometimes become stale by the time it reaches print the next day. A growing population of new immigrants support their own newspaper, radio and television stations.
I continue to be grateful that daily and weekly newspapers, afford me an opportunity to express my views, as well as differing opinions. Thanks to you, ordinary citizens have the freedom to comment on the actions and legislation of elected officials. Public officials use taxpayers dollars to promote their views, via mass mailings of newsletters, news releases, letters to the editor and guest opinion page columns. In many cases, they are produced or written by campaign or office staffers who are paid for by taxpayers. The rest of us have limited time to submit a letter. Let us thank those few brave souls who are willing to take on the establishment and powerful special interest groups in the pages of your letters to the editor section.
Please join me along with your neighbors in continue reading our Queens based newspapers. Patronize their advertisers; they provide the revenues necessary to keep them in business. Let them know you saw their ad. This is what helps keep our neighbors employed, the local economy growing and provide space on a daily or weekly basis for your favorite or not so favorite letter writers.
In the marketplace of ideas, let us hope there continues to be room for all our weekly Queens newspapers. They fill a valuable niche in the information highway.
Faithful Reader and Contributor for decades!