It's distressing to see the stack of weekly and daily newspapers piling up in America, symbolizing trouble for the Fourth Estate, and more crucially, for the average citizen wanting to know the news of the community.

It's happening before our eyes with the Standard-Times that years ago stood out above other media sources, but today is only a shell of its former trailblazing self. Gone are the days of home-grown ownership. In its place, the corporate cartels have moved in, pushing out the local news and sports reporters, the eagle-eyed photographers, editors and employees who proudly comprised the profession of journalism.

Gannett now owns the Standard-Times, the only newspaper in town that's been scaled down so much, the handful of souls remaining in the newsroom can't capably cover the region. It has become what is known as a "ghost newspaper," one that still puts out a daily product but which is created by the sparsest of newsroom staffs, with a lot of content coming from other places such as other papers in the ownership group or wire services.

I grew up in a different era, but even in today's world, it's essential to be informed about the issues of the community, and if something isn't done to stop this tearing apart, the hole will only get larger and the city won't thrive.

Troubled about the same deficiency of local coverage, a professional group with the highest of qualifications has decided to lay the first stone for a local, digital news website called New Bedford Light that will produce in-depth journalism on central issues facing the community.

I look forward to hearing more about this undertaking. For now, I commend Barbara Roessner, the founding editor, and Stephen Taylor, the founding publisher, and the entire group of board members and supporters of New Bedford Light

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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