Like the legend of the Phoenix, this is a story of rebirth; the first edition of the new Portland Phoenix.
While we have taken the name of the old Phoenix, which ceased publishing in February, our course will be different. Our focus is on presenting the news, investigation and analysis.
We will not presume to tell our readers what to think, but to tell them what’s going on. Our job is to dig for the news, not promote a party line. We can ask the right questions and analyze the issues, but we won’t be limited by unthinking orthodoxy. Our news pages won’t be filtered through the prism of ideology. We will present opinions and advocacy on pages dedicated to that purpose.
Much of the “alternative” press was born in the rebellions of the late 1960s. Both the Boston Phoenix and the Maine Times were founded in 1968. It is 51 years on, but the need for strong alternative journalism is still pressing. Maine’s local news environment is dominated by a near-monopoly hampered by diminishing resources. Many stories do not get covered. A new, independent source of information is even more important.
The original Boston Phoenix, which expanded to Worcester, Providence, and finally Portland, was renowned for its arts coverage, which garnered a Pulitzer prize. Following that lead, we will provide strong arts coverage and diverse Arts and Entertainment calendars.
Since those days, technology and online news have transformed news delivery, and brought new reading habits. In this environment, the free circulation newspaper has a stronger chance of success and remains an effective medium for advertisers to reach an audience. Our free newspaper will reach a wide audience, complemented by a strong social media presence.
Our news stories will explore the issues facing Greater Portland. Among these is the dizzying development pace that has overwhelmed Portland’s downtown, transforming especially the eastern waterfront areas and spawning a housing and parking crisis. The city is threatened by potential overdevelopment, as it chokes on the fumes of commuter automobiles.
We will publish profiles and interviews with people who are making a difference in our community.
And though our audience is Portland-based, we will also cover important regional news, since those who are building their lives in this area are concerned with issues facing the state.
We have assembled a talented and experienced team of reporters, editors, and sales professionals, and we launch this new publication with optimism, leavened with faith. But we will need your support. Please watch for our newspaper, which will be published every Wednesday. We will be found in the usual places — supermarkets, convenience stores, coffee shops and other places where you found the old Phoenix. If there are other places where we should distribute, let us know.
We hope to earn your support. We welcome your feedback, and ideas for news coverage. Let us know what you think.