Even as I read this article, I sat here stunned. But as I calmed myself, I realized, I should not be surprised. Banks, investment houses, automobile companies, and now … newspapers.
The state of New Hampshire last week agreed to guarantee 75 percent of a $250,000 loan from an Upper Valley bank to the new owner of the Eagle Times, an unusual deal because it involves a daily newspaper and the government it covers.
The Executive Council on Wednesday unanimously approved without debate the “working capital loan guarantee,” which would be administered by the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority.
Ok, the previous yard stick was being too big to fail, now it’s saving a “free press”?
Gov. John Lynch, who presided over the Executive Council meeting, said in an interview after an appearance at Dartmouth College on Friday evening that he had no problems with the loan guarantee.
“It’s really more of a job development, economic development type of issue,” said Lynch who said he has not met Sample and was not involved in putting the deal together. “I think it was the right thing to do, and it came up through the appropriate channels.”
But as bad as this is … the AP says, it’s just begun:
At least two other states have explored similar deals as newspapers across the country face an unprecedented decline in advertising revenue, but no other state has gone through with it yet, news industry analysts said this week.
It used to be you would succeed or fail on your own, that was until we began to find excuses for everything from grade school through college. It used to be newspapers jealously guarded their independence, but that was until people stopped reading their drivel.