Publisher's Note: Go fishing
By Jody Reese
It’s been a while since I last fished — so long that I can’t remember the last time. Now’s my chance. Our cover story this week should help inspire people like me, who maybe fished as kids but got away from it as adults. Why did I stop fishing? I can’t really remember. I still have my rods, tackle and a few spools of fishing line, though, sitting in the garage.
One of the best things about fishing was the quiet. There was no music, no talking or roughhousing (a key part of my childhood). You could sit back and daydream as you cast and recast in silence.
It was also an affordable activity. So much of what we do for leisure these days can cost big bucks, it’s nice to have a cheap option for the kids.
And for a bonus, if you can catch a fish, you can eat it. Catching was never my strong suit, but few things are as good as a fresh fish fillet browning in a pan with butter.
Last month when we heard that the Eagle Times, a daily paper based in Claremont, N.H., was going bankrupt, and that that region of New Hampshire and Vermont right across the river would be without a newspaper, we called the mayor and several other area officials to see what we could do. Because the Eagle Times went bankrupt, saving it wasn’t an option, so we looked to start something new up there. We produced two test issues over the past weeks and the feedback was great.
So next week HippoPress will be starting a weekly newspaper in the Claremont area called the Compass (www.compasspaper.com).
My business partner Jeff Rapsis has been heading up the effort and has a personal connection to the area. He got his first reporting job out there more than 20 years ago. Since then Jeff has worked for almost every daily newspaper in New Hampshire and helped start the Hippo with Dan Szczesny and me.
“We believe that a regular source of reliable news in print is an essential part of a region’s quality of life,” Jeff said.
The Compass will be a community-type newspaper, covering local events and news issues, including obituaries, sports and town news. Unlike Hippo, it will be a broadsheet newspaper (the size of the Boston Globe).
Newspapers have gotten a lot of bad press lately and rightly so. The companies that own them seem to complain a lot. For years these companies raked in huge profits and now that they are struggling they seem to suggest it’s the public’s responsibility to save them (the Eagle Times was an exception to this; it’s struggled financially for years).
Newspapers will do just fine if people want to read them. That’s what we try to do at Hippo and we’ll strive to do with the Compass.