By Robert Field, Publisher and Editor
Over the past decade, NewsLanc has taken to task The Lancaster Newspapers (now LNP) for slanting news coverage to benefit the Steinman family’s other investments and to curry to advertisers and powerful elements in the community.
Yet a couple of recent events have added perspective.
One is the Reading Eagle’s recent filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy after 150 years of publication. Hopefully someone with deep pockets and a sense of civic responsibility will acquire it. Otherwise it will be but another of many newspapers that have disappeared from regions such as Berks and Lancaster counties since the advent of digital reporting on the Internet.
The second is the newly published “Breaking News, The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now” by Alan Rusbridger, the long time editor of the Guardian newspaper. He describes year by year from approximately 2000 to 2015 how he and other leaders of the then printed Manchester Guardian perceived the need and gradually transitioned to largely digital reporting.
The British Guardian’s US web site has now become our countries fourth largest Internet news web site.
Part of the reason they were able to maintain their ethical bearings during hard times was ownership by a well funded trust. It enabled the Guardian to remain afloat and honorable in its reporting and editorials while others sold their journalistic souls to increase circulation and attract and retain advertisers.
When some eight year ago Washington D. C. attorney Robert ‘Bob’ Krasne relocated to Lancaster to help head the Steinman family interests and become publisher of LNP, we met a couple of times for lunch and I briefed him in detail concerning what had occurred during the run up to the building of the Convention Center and Marriott Hotel.
I urged him to publish a “mea culpa” acknowledging that the newspapers had at times erred, especially on reporting on past honorable commissioners who had been subject to a witch hunt by LNP. My suggestion was declined.
And more recently, LNP’s has hid behind Dale High, saying its hands are tied concerning the rapacious conduct of Penn Square Partners because LNP is only a limited partner. (Fifty-percent!)
Yet we respect that survival of LNP is an important goal of Krasne and the Steinman family. This likely requires an amount of kowtowing to powerful interests and major advertisers.
We anticipate that at some future date, near or far, LNP will exclusively be a web site. Then without the high expense of a print edition, it should be available behind a “pay wall” at a moderate price, or possibly even free to readers due to advertising income.
We do hope that the Steinmans stop using LNP to improperly benefit their and Dale High’s real estate investments.
We don’t envy the Steinman family their task. We do wish the family, the staff of LNP, and Bob Krasne well. May long live LNP.
And even more so, we wish Lancaster well. May it return to being the “Camelot” of the past, a region of government transparency and a free and conscientious establishment.
Weather and other factor permitting, the last distribution of our print edition will take place over the next two weeks. We do plan to continue to publish via this web site as circumstances warrant.