I cannot speak for publisher Randy French, but having worked at the Bermuda Sun for most of my journalistic career, I know that putting out this newspaper has been a challenge, if not a constant struggle, for all of its 50 years.
Going up daily, then weekly and, finally twice-weekly, against the powerful Royal Gazette meant the Sun’s sales team and its journalists had to work that much harder.
And work harder they did and the result was a product that was respected and admired.
The Bermuda Sun provided an alternative for news but also as a place of employment.
It gave print journalists a second option in the island’s small media marketplace.
When I look back on my own career, I recall editors John Barritt, Jim Willison, Adrian Drummond, Randy French for an interim period, Tom Vesey and finally Tony McWilliam, who has the sad task of putting the Sun’s final edition to bed.
Each put his individual stamp on the Sun. In the years before I began my career and before he became a PLP politician, the Bermuda Sun provided a journalistic home for David Allen.
There has been much comment on the depth of its reporting. The Sun also gave voice to many columnists over the years, among them the late Julian Hall, Stuart Hayward, Tom Vesey, after he hung up his editor’s hat, and the current team of Larry Burchall, Bryant Trew and Christopher Famous.
If the salary for full-time journalists is any indication, writing regular columns has been a labour of love.
Journalists with whom I have worked and shared many laughs over the years include Roger Scotton, Simon Wait, Laura Bell, Patrick Meagher, Nigel Reagan, James Whittaker, Leah Furbert, Sirkka Huish, Ayo Johnston, Sarah Lagan, Keisha Webb-Gibbs, Marina Mello and Don Burgess, a workhorse if ever there was one.
Then there was the late Arthur Bean, a supremely talented photographer.
It truly is a sad day for journalism. The most positive thing that can be said is that the Sun’s demise has less to do with the island’s in-the-tank economy —although it surely has been a contributor— than with the media industry itself.
The closure of newspapers is a story that is being replicated all over the globe.
The switch from print to digital format has been relentless, and if the pundits are correct, it will only continue.
Meredith Ebbin is a former deputy editor of the Bermuda Sun