This week's East Boston Times clocks in at a mere 12 pages. I have a copy of an issue from August that was 20 pages and one from December that was 16. Is this the typical post-holiday decline in advertising, or is the neighborhood weekly, like most newspapers, being squeezed by the sluggish economy and the general decline in readership?
It's no surprise that local elected officials Carlo Basile and Anthony Petruccelli are pictured on the front page above the fold. In addition, there's another story about Basile inside and Petruccelli's photo with an editorial. I like both of these guys, but as I said before, I'd love to see stories and photos about people other than elected officials and Chamber of Commerce officers. Who are the other 40,000 people who live in this neighborhood?
Wait...there is a front-page story on someone else: Andrew Kenneally, an East Boston resident who is running for an at-large seat on the Boston City Council. The Times seems not to have contacted the former aide to Councilor Michael Flaherty for the article, instead listing information from a press release -- including the quotation.
More beefs: the Times' once decent sports coverage has shrunk down to half a page, with no photos; the story on the construction of the First Priority Credit Union makes no mention of the picketing workers who I saw out there a couple weeks ago; and, while it is nice to see a story on a fairly new local eatery, the piece on Scup's in the Harbor comes one week after the Globe spotlighted the place. Shouldn't the local paper get us there first?