May your troubles be less, your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door. — Irish blessing
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the staff at TBR News Media!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the staff at TBR News Media!
By Leah S. Dunaief
There is something new, and I hope you will find exciting, in this issue of the newspaper. If you will look at the advertisement for Elegant Eating on page 9 for those of you that get The Times of Smithtown or the back cover for The Village Times Herald, you will see a QR code within the border of the ad. Run your mobile phone camera over the code, and it will open up to a 30-second video.
The new addition, in effect, turns the flat, two-dimensional print ad into a talking motion picture, however briefly. This gives significantly extra punch to the ad. It’s also fun for the reader.
We will repeat this for the other four newspapers, The Times of Huntington & Northport, The Village Beacon Record, The Times of Middle Country and The Port Times Record next week.
We can, of course, offer the same process for news stories. An article about someone newsworthy can carry a QR code that then permits a live viewing of that person speaking to the viewer.
For now, we will concentrate on providing this service to advertisers, refining the process as we go along. And we have priced this offering accordingly to allow many business people to afford coming aboard.
In addition to viewing the short on a mobile phone, the video will also run on the home page of our TBRnewsmedia website under the banner, “Video spotlight on business.” Our website has approximately 150,000 viewers per month. Further, the advertisers can add the video to their own web page if they would like. Advertisers should check with their sales reps for more information and to get started.
In adding this new feature, we hope to have a meaningful interaction between print and the web. Print, of course, is being challenged as digital news and advertising have lessened to some extent the dominance of print. With this new service, it is our intention to bring the best of both worlds to the advertising side and also the news side of our media output.
The value of print, with its responsibility for vetting and fact checking both stories and ads, cannot be overstated in this present climate of enormous misinformation on the web. In bringing print to the web, and the benefits of the web to print, we hope to engage our readers further and serve our local communities. We also hope, by being innovative, to help our bottom line.
We know communities need local news outlets to inform and protect them, as well as to hold a mirror up to record their daily lives and achievements. Towns where newspapers have failed in the last decade are now referred to as news deserts and have suffered for their loss. Ill-considered developments, poorly sited landfills and unfortunate actions by unworthy local government officials have been only some of the consequences, with no strong voice to give outcry on behalf of the people. Many energetic journalists have been thrown out of work. We believe the key to survival in this age is to embrace change and join with its best aspects.
Hence our latest enhancement for you.
By Leah S. Dunaief
Maybe it sounds like I’m tooting our horn too much, but I have to say how proud I am of the columnists who write for our papers and website. They are clearly bright and offer the reader information and knowledge that aren’t usually found even in a big metro daily or a glossy magazine. They are, collectively and individually, one of the main reasons our hometown newspapers have managed to survive while so many of our colleagues, 25% of them in the nation, have had to shut their doors.
Readers want to learn from our regular columnists, who, by the way, are local residents. That’s not surprising, though, because the population we serve is exceptional, accomplished in their own right, and can be expected to harbor such talent. Let me explain.
The columnists are found in the second section of the newspaper, called Arts & Lifestyles. In the interest of full disclosure and without false modesty, I point out and salute my youngest son, Dr. David Dunaief. He is a physician totally committed to helping his patients, and the high regard is returned by them in equal measure, as testimonials about him confirm. In addition, he writes every week about current medical problems and brings readers up to date with the latest research and thinking regarding common ailments. I know him to be a voracious reader of medical journals and he footnotes his sources of expertise at the end of every “Medical Compass” column.
Dr. Matthew Kearns is a longtime popular veterinarian who writes “Ask the Vet,” keeping our beloved pets healthy. Michael E. Russell is a successful, retired financial professional who cannot cut the cord with Wall Street, and shares his thoughts on the economy and suggesting current buys on the stock market. He will also throw in something irreverent, or even askance, to keep you tuned in.
Also writing knowledgeably on the contemporary scene about finance and the economy is Michael Christodoulou, who is also an active financial advisor. Ever try to read your auto insurance policies? If I had trouble falling asleep, they would knock me out by the second paragraph. Enter A. Craig Purcell, a partner in a long-established local law firm, who is attempting to explain auto insurance coverage, a merciful endeavor, with his column. His words do not put me to sleep. Shannon Malone will alternate the writing for us. Michael Ardolino, a well-known realtor, somehow manages to make both ends of a real estate transaction, for buyers and sellers, sound promising at this time.
Our lead movie and book reviewer is the highly talented Jeffrey Sanzel. In addition to being a terrific actor, he is a gifted writer and almost always feels the same way about what he is reviewing as I do. No wonder I think he is brilliant. Father Frank has been writing for the papers for many years and always with great integrity and compassion.
John Turner, famous naturalist and noted author and lecturer, keeps us apprised of challenges to nature. This is a niche for all residents near the shorelines of Long Island. He also writes “Living Lightly,” about being a responsible earth dweller. Bob Lipinski is the wine connoisseur who travels the world and keeps us aware of best wines and cheeses.
Lisa Scott and Nancy Marr of the Suffolk County League of Women Voters, keep us informed about upcoming elections, new laws and important propositions. Elder law attorney Nancy Burner tells us about Medicare, estate planning, wills gifting, trustees, trusts and other critical issues as we age.
The last columnist I will mention is Daniel Dunaief, who, like bookends for my salute, is also my son. Among several other articles, he writes “The Power of Three,” explaining some of the research that is performed at Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Labs and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He makes a deep dive into the science in such a way that layman readers can understand what is happening in the labs. He has been paid the ultimate compliment by the scientists for a journalist: they pick up the phone and willingly talk to him, unafraid that he will get the story wrong or misquote them. In fact, he has been told a rewarding number of times by the researchers that his questions for the articles have helped them further direct their work.
When my sons began writing for TBR News Media, a few readers accused me of nepotism. I haven’t heard that charge now in years.
P.S. Of course, we can’t forget Beverly C. Tyler and Kenneth Brady, stellar historians both.
As we we celebrate the season, the staff at TBR News Media wishes you and yours a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
The office will be closed on Thursday and Friday and will reopen on Monday, Nov. 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
— Your friends at TBR News Media
The staff at TBR News Media wishes you a Happy Labor Day! The office will be closed on Monday, September 5 but will reopen on Tuesday, September 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The staff at TBR News Media wish you a Happy and Safe Fourth of July Weekend!
Please note: The office will be closed on July 4 and will reopen on July 5 at 10 a.m.
The history of America’s Independence Day:
Few summertime holidays elicit as much excitement as the Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day in the United States. Each year, family, friends and revelers anticipate the arrival of the holiday so they can host barbecues, enjoy the sun, listen to their favorite summertime tunes, and commemorate the freedoms afforded by the monumental events that led to the holiday’s establishment. Independence Day became a federal holiday in 1941, but July 4th has stood as the birth of American independence for much longer.
July 4th marks a pivotal moment in the American Revolution. According to PBS, the colonies were forced to pay taxes to England’s King George III despite having no representation in the British Parliament. “Taxation without representation” became a battle cry and was one of several grievances colonists had with Great Britain.
Conflict between the colonies had been going on for at least a year before the colonies convened a Continental Congress in Philadelphia in June of 1776, says Military.com. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence from England. Two days later, on July 4, 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence is an historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was considered the strongest and most eloquent writer of the declaration writing committee charged with putting the colonies’ sentiments into words.
Richard Henry Lee of Virginia was one of the first people to present a resolution for American independence, and his commentary was the impetus for the formal Declaration of Independence. A total of 86 changes were made to Jefferson’s original draft until the final version was adopted. The signing of the document helped to solidify independence, and eventually lead to the formation of the United States of America. A total of 56 delegates signed the document. Although John Hancock’s signature is the largest, it did not hold more weight than the other signatures. Rather, rumor has it, Hancock signed it so large so that the “fat, old King could read it without his spectacles.” However, the National Archives says it was also customary that, since Hancock was the president of the Continental Congress, he be the first person to sign the document centered below the text.
The Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence on July 6, 1776. The first public readings of the Declaration were held in Philadelphia’s Independence Square on July 8, 1776.
Happy Mother’s Day from Times Beacon Record News Media!
By Leah S. Dunaief
Another year has rolled by and we again marvel at another anniversary this week of the news group now known as TBR News Media. It started with the lowly Village Times 46 years ago, and actually there was nothing lowly about that first issue. It was 52 pages, mailed to every house in Setauket, Stony Brook and Old Field, and carried some pretty interesting news and graphics.
I guess the biggest news in the April 8th issue, although we didn’t say so, was that there was a second newspaper in town, coming out every Thursday, a day later than the first newspaper, The Three Village Herald. We planned it that way so we could carry most of the week’s news that same week. For example, school board meetings, one of our most important beats, ended late on Tuesday nights and often their agenda didn’t make the other paper until the following week, there being no internet or website in those days, of course. But by coming out on Thursday, while we could report the school news, we couldn’t capture the local supermarket specials, a rich, full page or even two sometimes, because those ads traditionally ran on Wednesday “to give the lady of the house a chance to plan her weekly shopping for the family’s weekends.” Yes, I am quoting the supermarket managers.
This might not strike you as being a particularly significant decision for the newspaper, but it was symbolic of how we viewed our product: news first, advertising second. If we could get the readers, we strategized, the advertising would follow. And history proves us right. We were always something of an upstart. In the beginning, we stopped mailing to every house after the first couple of issues and gave the paper away from news racks in the local stores. Ten months in, we put coin tubes on our newsstands and started to charge a dime, the same as our competition. I can’t tell you, in powerful enough words, how satisfying it was that first day when the dimes rolled out of the tubes and into our palms. Residents were willing to pay, even if only 10 cents, for our efforts.
A couple of years later, we raised the newsstand price to 25 cents, then the industry standard. We were asking a pretty brash question: Were we 21/2 times better than our competition? Yes, there was some tongue clucking about “who did we think we were!” To our relief, our readership grew. Readers put quarters in our tubes and gratification in our hearts. We vowed to work even harder.
What is a community newspaper, really?
We asked ourselves that as we read every other hometown paper we could get our hands on in order to better answer that question. Joining the New York Press Association, which we did two years after we started, helped us network with other publishers across the state for pointers.
We knew that we wanted to be non-partisan, meaning that we would be without party affiliation and completely independent. It was vital that village government news and town board news reach our readers. We particularly favored bragging about our young people, their academic, musical and sports accomplishments. And we created a second section in the paper for cultural events, science and medicine, giving space to local artists and columnists.
We were eager to hear what our readers had to say and made sure we had clearly marked opinion pages for that purpose. Our opinions were there, too. And we thought of the paper as a mirror that was held up to reflect the community we served, providing future historians with the chronology and sentiments of the day.
Most especially, we believed in fairness. And facts. In a controversial situation, we wanted all sides to be heard and heard accurately. We left it to our readers to judge. They were intelligent beings and we never dumbed down the stories for them. Further, we saw as part of our job to protect our communities and their natural beauty from those who would cause harm. Come to think of it, in our six papers, on our website and our social media platforms, that’s about what we still do.