(It’s been pointed out to me that various technical problems are afflicting this website at the moment – March 23 – so the comment that mine below was made in response to can’t be seen. I’m sorry about this. However, I’ve let my response stand because it seems pretty self-contained. It was addressing a point about the Gazette perhaps being affected by the weekly Wednesday battle between the Bridport News and the Lyme Regis News on one side, and the View From titles on the other).

I suppose you could interpret things that way. The battle between Newsquest and the View From must make it harder for the WG to pick up ads in Bridport. I think there’s only one from Bridport in the first chunk of the current issue (from good old Bridport Music) and just a couple from Dorchester. But Northcliffe are making all sorts of changes to their papers right across the South West. So who knows?

As far as I’m concerned, the point is in that ‘who knows’? I didn’t really want to write about the Western Gazette, but I buy it every week, and have been doing so for a very long time, and it annoys me that there’s not a word of explanation in the current issue about the merger. Not that I can see.

I truly don’t understand why a business that’s supposed to be all about communication seems to think that saying nothing is a great idea. Particularly because a local newspaper is not just a business, it’s a social institution, like a pub or a football club. It might be a pain for the people who own papers and pubs and football clubs but their status does mean people that people feel entitled to have a say about important matters – just as before on this site, with the Bridport News moving to a Wednesday.

Actually, I think that one of the reasons the Bridport News has got much much better than it was, is that it seems to have remembered that its purpose is to be an institution, like a good pub. It’s got one or two odd regulars, but if you regard its two reporters as being like a landlord and landlady, well, that’s up to them.