I worked at the Bermuda Sun for nine years, between 1999 to 2008, under the editorship of Tony McWilliam and his right-hand woman, Meredith Ebbin.
Unlike the daily newspaper, The Royal Gazette, and the two broadcast stations ZBM and VSB, which were for the most part able to get by on diary events, like press conferences and court cases, the Bermuda Sun, being a bi-weekly, had to somehow find stories that hadn’t been written or aired before.
On an island so small, this wasn’t always easy and many a time we had to put a story on the front page that wasn’t really a front page story.
But when there was a real story to be written, the Bermuda Sun wrote the definitive version.
The reason it was able to do this was largely due to Tony McWilliam, who always stressed the importance of being fair, balanced and accurate.
For my part, I could trust that what people/contacts had told me would be reflected in the paper: It wasn’t manipulated or sensationalized, just contextualized, the premise being, what value is this to readers?
Because of this, I found that people also trusted the paper and that’s why it was consistently able to gather information and print stories the other media couldn’t or didn’t get.
I loved working in Bermuda and I loved the Bermuda Sun and even though a few days have gone by since the terrible announcement, I’m struggling to accept it’s true.
My former colleagues have all posted their thoughts on Facebook, some even said it felt like a loved one had died. I thought that was a bit much at first, but as the days go by, I realize I feel the same way.
I worked with some very talented, fun and committed people.
It would be rude to sign off without giving Deputy Editor Don Burgess the credit he deserves — a tireless workhorse if ever there was one. And of course, the President of the Bermuda Sun, my friend Lisa Beauchamp.
Also Leah Furbert, Michelle Furbert, Gerri Saltus, Terri Eichler Mello, Alex Barclay, Lilla Zuill, Kevin Spurgaitis, Grant Spurling, James Whittaker, Mark Kennedy, Ayo Johnson, Sirkka Huish, Keisha Webb-Gibbs, Laura Ann Bell, Heather Cassidy, Rical Hollis, Jeannine Klein (now Menzies), Tania Theriault, Eloisa Mayers, Emma Farge and others.
I appreciate everything you did for Bermuda, through the paper, and what you did for me as friends. I wish you all nothing but the best.
Tony, in his editorial last week, said he was “devastated” by the closure and that he hoped the memories would be “meaningful and lasting”.
Yes, Tony, they will. They will last forever, not just for me, but for everyone who had the pleasure of working there. Thank you for everything.