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Bay State Banner
returns to coverage of Boston area's black community
(August 3, 2009) The Bay State Banner, which for 44 years has served Boston
as the only newspaper focused exclusively on the social, political and
economic condition of the black community, announced today that its brief
suspension of publication has ended. The Banner was again be available to
its readers online beginning last week. Print publication of the Banner will
resume on August 7th and will follow its regular weekly schedule.
Since its announcement in early July that it was suspending publication due
to severe reduction of advertising -- during what has been called the worst
U.S. economic recession in 50 years -- the Bay State Banner has received
heartfelt support from across the city and the region from both the African
American community as well as from businesses, elected officials and other
supporters committed to the paper's survival.
Commenting on the paper's return, publisher and editor Melvin B. Miller
said, "I could not be happier that the Bay State Banner will continue to
publish because the task of informing and empowering our community is far
The importance of continuing the Bay State Banner, the only independent,
minority owned newspaper in Boston, has been evidenced by the number of
individuals who have come forward advocating the necessity for financial
investment to keep the paper going.
"As the largest and oldest African American-owned newspaper in the Boston
area, The Bay Street Banner is an invaluable voice in the minority
community. Next Street is proud to have been selected to work with the
Banner to develop a strategic plan and financial restructuring that will
enable the paper to serve future generations of readers," said Ron Walker,
Principal, Next Street Financial.
As part of its effort to regain financial footing, the paper will be
reaching out to advertisers, old and new, with messages touting the paper as
an attractive option due to its broad and diverse circulation.
"I'm so pleased to know that the Banner will return and that the community's
interests will continue to be served. This is a wonderful and historic
moment ," noted Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree, who has
played a central role in the search for investors on behalf of the paper.
Since its introduction in 1965 the Bay State Banner has grown to have a
circulation of more than 30,000 copies and a readership of around 150,000 as
well as an online audience that garners more than 1 million new visitors
each month. It has covered major news stories in Boston's black community
from the busing crisis of the 1970's to progress made by community church
leaders working with police to reduce crime in the 1990's. It has continued
its legacy as a voice for the black community more recently challenging
politicians on their commitment to the community's best interests as well as
expanding its coverage to include stories of culture across the city and the