It would seem ironic that a bi-weekly newspaper called the Bermuda Sun would be cast into total darkness today, leaving 23 people unemployed and so many Bermudians wondering how, in the name of God, did it get so bad that we’ve now lost another newspaper in the last few years.
Will our daily shut down too?
With any business closure there are always the facts; the spread- sheets demonstrating poor results, the graphs indicating the downward spiral, barely there advertising sales, and costs that continue to skyrocket.
Health insurance, electricity and wages continue to bite an even bigger hole in an already challenged budget.
Despite the heroic efforts, it all boils down to the simplest equation: diminished revenues means that a business is unsustainable.
Spreadsheets and graphs, however, never tell the human side of a story and the closing of the Bermuda Sun isn’t just the story of one small, local newspaper in a small community that didn’t make it.
It’s really the story of relationships and how a small town newspaper tells the story of how we live, how we think, who we’re mad at and sometimes who’s been given a second chance, maybe a third.
The Sun has told the story of political battles, scandals; deaths and destruction; and sometimes that only filled just one day’s worth of newsprint.
A lot can happen in a small town and one small island can sure pack a wallop.
Our stories are like most places but they’re still unique to us and they needed to be told with honesty and with the highest level of professional journalism. Nothing slip-shot.
In fifty years of publication, the Bermuda Sun has certainly accomplished that.
Each week the Bermuda Sun also told the story of our faith — or should I say, faiths?
Bermuda has held itself accountable to only one higher authority but the voices of prayer comes from so many different places of worship in Bermuda.
Perhaps the beauty of Bermuda does bring us closer to God and once a week in Friday’s edition we heard from His many disciples.
I have often suspected that their collective messages were placed in the Friday edition so that we would behave ourselves over the weekend.
Like everyone, I pored over what each columnist had to say and often marvelled at how Larry Burchall was able to take a pile of statistics and make it “readable”. His graphs were good, too.
I don’t think I’ve ever disagreed with anything he’s ever written but I have to admit there were a few times I did have to re-read a few of his columns. Keeping up with Larry Burchall is no easy feat.
I adore Bryant Trew and Christopher Famous at the same time or “Trew and Famous”, as I called them behind their backs.
I guess this means that I have political “issues” but again their columns always compelled me to think about an alternative view and in some cases take a real hit right on my head!
They are brave men to write with such conviction, especially in a community where everyone really does know your name and your cousins.
It can be rough out there.
Lastly, and he’ll probably hate that I will ruin his reputation as a hard hitting, tough journalist and ruthless editor, is my favourite person of all, Tony McWilliam.
He is the Prince Charming of editors; respectful and delicate with his editor’s “scalpel” and gentle with corrections.
There were a few occasions that he didn’t print a column of mine and saved me from myself and perhaps a lawyer or two. I could never be mad at him, although I did try, once!
He gave this amateur a chance and hopefully you didn’t mind my efforts too much.
I’ll save my goodbyes for another time and wish for sunny days and better fortunes for the good people of the Bermuda Sun. They deserve it.