Good grief, I know summer is slow on the news front — particularly locally — but really, is this the best my local rag can do? An entire “feature” story about conjecture, misconceptions and vague notions of “something not quite right”? Susan J. Boutwell (quick, office pool on what the “J” stands for — must be really important, since it has to run as part of the byline) is slowly but surely building a reputation for herself here in Norwich for her Drudge-esque tendency to lurk on the town listserv and nab little nuggets that can fan the flames. Along with her partner-in-slime, Jim Kenyon, she’s helping alienate readers from the Valley News. Given the fate of the paper in nearby Claremont, NH, you’d think they’d perhaps try harder to deliver some real work. But this pathetic drivel will win them no friends.
I long since gave up my subscription to the Valley News — mostly because I can’t stand the crappy AP feed of heavily biased and misleading national and international news. But I dropped them in part because the only real reason to spend good coin on a local paper is for some decent local coverage, and when I can’t even count on them for that, there’s little left but the weather — and guess what? I can get that online, too… natch.
Update: Donald Kreis, local pundit extraordinaire and ex journalist and civil servant, weighs in on this one with much more authority than I could hope to muster.