I started working for the Bermuda Sun in 1982, selling advertising. In those days our offices were on King Street, next to the Fire Station. Selling was not easy then, the paper came out once a week and there was the Royal Gazette and the Mid-Ocean. A little before was The Recorder and a little later came the Bermuda Times.
Now it’s just over thirty years later and I have had so many experiences with the newspaper over the years…it became like a best friend — a best friend that sometimes makes you cry, like this week, when the last one is printed.
I am exceedingly proud of what the Bermuda Sun has achieved in Bermuda, both from the time I joined in 1982 and before then from the time it was started in 1964. It is more than a newsprint sold on a shelf… rather it is an active participant in the life of the community, enriching readers who were able to see things in a new way because of what the Bermuda Sun brought, even if they disagreed.
The Recorder, Bermuda Times, Mid-Ocean, Bermuda Sun are gone now as we kind of enter a new era of publishing where information is more and more user generated and aggregated rather than coming from an organized news room.
User-generated content is inexpensive to produce and original, however lacks the authorship and responsibility of what comes out of a newsroom.
User-generated content ends the power and control of traditional media, but also leads us into an era where information can be confusing, inaccurate, and one-sided.
I always thought that more media is better than less because more media means more ideas and information floating around; it also reduces the power and control of when media is concentrated in few hands.
I believe that real power comes from giving power away, like in the Bible it says strength comes from weakness.
At the Sun I stayed away from interfering in the newsroom, and that made us stronger out of weakness. I also believe that people are at their best when they are not controlled but left to be free.
At the Sun there was a lot of freedom — some people say too much — but I always believed that more freedom is better, especially as the paper ultimately becomes something we believe in, something to which we are passionately committed.
The people at the Sun believe in it, whether they are in the newsroom, advertising, creative, accounts, or printing and distribution.
We all believed in it and were united by wanting to be a ‘Friend to the Community’, our tagline.
I said earlier that I am proud of what the Bermuda Sun has achieved in Bermuda. I mean that not in the way of a boastful proud but rather the proud that comes from knowing that what was done was good, honest, our best effort, and made a difference. The Sun played a big part in Bermuda life for fifty years.
The people at the Sun made it what it is; it was all of them. It shows what people can do when they are united in something, even to the point where they influence a whole country.
I wish I had a list of all the people who have ever worked at the Sun, it would be nice to honour them now, it is their legacy.
After thirty years at the Sun, it is a sad day for me…who expects what they believe in and worked for for so many years to come to an end?
But technology and market conditions and reader habits have all changed in Bermuda and traditional media is under enormous financial pressure.
Those are the facts of life.
On behalf of all the committed persons who have worked at the Sun, I would like to express my thanks to all of you, our readers and advertisers, for your loyalty and friendship.
Most of all I want to thank the company members of the Bermuda Sun, past and present. You have participated in something you made very wonderful.