Greene County’s new news

The Greenville Mountain View Pioneer debuted this week, and the Greene County Local Courier morphed into the Greene County News, after its recent purchase by Hudson-Catskill Newspaper Corp, and it is great to read more local newsprint. Both papers are fighting for territory best covered by The Greenville Press which closed early this year, and neither has a website. With the Pioneer focusing on Greenville and the News citing Greenville, Coxsackie, and Athens as target markets, the debut and remake make for a side-by-side comparison. The Pioneer wins the first count, as this week’s issue includes results of Tuesday’s school board elections, while the News does not (both papers have Thursday street dates). Both have little news — the Pioneer reveals a new Greenville bakery, while the News covers NY State Senator James Seward‘s appearance at the opening of Coxsackie beverage distributor Empire Merchants North. The Pioneer has a much cleaner layout, though the News improves from its Courier days, and now looks more like its HCNC sister papers The Daily Mail and Register-Star. Both publications include lots of unnecessary filler with the News even printing a verbatim press release from WGXC about a radio station event with the Agroforestry Center twice, on pages 20 and 23 (extra thanks!). But the Pioneer has much larger problems. Thirteen by-lines include the name “Macko” (the publisher and former Daily Mail writer Andrea Macko authors most), while only six others contribute articles. Of those six, the owner of the new Greenville bakery writes about his own store, and another is a campaign donation in the form of an article by Greenville County Legislator Kevin Lewis. While the News makes a similar donation to the campaign of Seward with his “column,” the Pioneer gives away advertorial disguised as editorial more often. Publisher Macko also gives a free campaign ad/column to Greenville Town Supervisor Paul Macko (she is his niece). The first issue ever also has two letters to the editor about how Peter Margoulius would make a swell County Court Judge, and on the next page there is a larger press release about how one local group endorsed his campaign. Virtually no local Democrats are mentioned anywhere in the Pioneer. Both papers print an awful lot of verbatim press releases, and the Pioneer seems one-sided so far. And the Pioneer’s debut editorial makes odd boasts, saying that seeing names and pictures in a publication and an accompanying feeling of being a, “part of something bigger” is something “that you won’t find on any website.” That’s pretty funny!

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