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Behind The Scenes: The Bristol Press in Turmoil

Bristol Press Storefront Main Street Bristol CT.

Bristol Press Storefront Main Street Bristol CT.

Since the reporting of another shakeup at The Bristol Press, numerous past and present employees of The Bristol Press have reached out about the reporter that lost her job and the current state of the local print newspaper company.

Many have reached out anonymously while others commented on the record with their names.

In this case the reporters name will not be included. At the end of the day, we all have our bills to pay and families to support.

“As an employee of The Bristol Press/New Britain Herald/Central CT Communications, I’ve been wanting to follow up on your recent brief on Eve Britton’s departure from the paper. First, Eve did not leave under any shady circumstances. 

“So the real story that seems to never see the light of day is the slow death of the Bristol Press. All you need do is see how the paper’s news quality has diminished in the last four or five months. The only saving graces of the staff are Justin and Susan.”

Justin Muszynski covers local crime and other local assignments. Susan Corica covers the school system as well as other notable stories. In addition to Muszynski and Corica, there are many other dedicated reporters including photojournalist Mike Orazzi.

“These novel-length stories on the Witches Dungeon and whatever else Brian Johnson feels like writing about are the new normal. Count the number of Cortland Hull stories vs. City Hall stories in the last year and you’ll be shocked. Or maybe you won’t be. This is no longer a “news” paper.”

Cortland Hull’s Classic Horror Museum is a true Bristol gem. Hall has been haunting the halls of the Bristol Historical Society every Halloween season. Hull has a long history entertaining Bristol and beyond for over fifty years.

“Now back to Schroeder. “Edward Clarkin” has not learned his lesson. A freelance writer friend of his, Jane Zachary Jones, is credited as a staff writer in a recent paper with a newsroom phone number at which she can be reached. The problem is she lives in California. We have no idea who she is. Who knows if it’s even her real name. He continues to drag us through the mud and has no consideration, respect or understanding of what we try to do as journalists. It is quantity over quality every day.

The Hartford Courant has been reporting about this journalistic battle and who “Edward Clarkin” is. The story also appeared in the Washington Post.

Staff reporters are pulled in 10 different writing for every nitwit section that does nothing to generate interest or advertising. Schroeder was the “savior” in 2009. Now we’re hoping someone with actual journalistic instinct will save us from him.”

Every day is a new mess that hurts our reputations as reporters. He is hated in Bristol and New Britain and he can show his face in the journalism field as confidently as a pedophile at the playground.

His managing editors are jokes. James in Bristol and Bianca in New Britain, a miserable woman who sits on Twitter all day and berates her reporters and copy editors. And then drives home to Rhode Island. A total mess.

And if you think we can complain to HR, think again. Because HR is Schroeder’s wife, Janet. Who will pretend to show concern and then run off to his office to gossip. We have no way to truly lodge concerns or issues.

So the story is not that Eve was canned. No one cares. The story is the ongoing nightmare of two once-fine newspapers. You can only thank Schroeder for so long for saving the papers.

Those days are long over.

A former Press reporter also reached out and said:

“I’m a former reporter of the Bristol Press and I love your site. It’s great to see an independent news site dedicated to providing local news. I would like to know how you started this site? I’m in a town that lacks real and honest news.”

“I live in a small town in Texas. We have a small paper, it’s mostly conservative. I worked there for a few weeks and decided to resign after being asked to write a negative article about a well-known resident the publisher had it out for. Even though there was no truth behind it. I quickly learned that’s how things were done at this paper. So, most of the information the paper puts out is whatever the publisher and editor wants, even if it’s made up. We need something like your news blog. So that people know what’s really going on in this town.”

Finally, these accounts offered by current and past staffers is alarming. It shows a local newspaper in turmoil which needs a complete overhaul.

The victims in this state of confusion and disorder by the Bristol Press is the community, and their journalist who just want to produce good reporting.

Bristol is a sprawling city with over 60,000 people that want to be informed. 

The Bristol Press states it’s been helping build the community since 1871. At the moment, it appears The Bristol Press is not helping build the community.

Michael Schroeder could not be reached for comment.

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