Richfield Springs community saddened by loss of local newspaper


RICHFIELD SPRINGS, N.Y. (WKTV) - Elaine Zesowitz was sad to learn that the Richfield Springs Mercury would no longer be waiting in her mailbox Thursday afternoons.

"Yeah, it's like something, somebody dying in your family, losing your paper," says Zesowitz.

Jason Bernhardt, whose family revived Richfield Springs' newspaper in 2003 after a more than 30-year absence, says that core of people who anxiously await the paper, and like to feel its pages between their fingers, is dwindling.

"That's what they grew up with, that's what they're used to; they want to feel a physical paper in their hands, and unfortunately my generation, we're just not doing that any more," says Bernhardt.

Bernhardt says his father's love for the paper is what kept him publishing it year after year in spite of the fact that it was never profitable.

Mercury Editor Janine Giordano says that readers began stopping in to say goodbye as soon as the paper announced last Thursday that this Thursday's edition would be their last.

"By Thursday noon people were coming in and Friday it was like a constant stream of people, it was like a funeral, people were just coming in, saying goodbye."

For now, the web version of the Richfield Springs Mercury will remain, and any contributions e-mailed to will be reviewed for publication.

Jason Bernhardt says if the economy rebounds and he can re-assemble the current staff, the Mercury could one day return.

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