FATE OF SENTINEL TO BE DISCUSSED:

Public Urged To Attend BNN Meeting About Its Future

BALTIMORE NEWS NETWORK, INC. (BNN) will hold an Open Meeting with dinner on Sunday, January 6, 2002 at 6:00 p.m. at the offices of the American Friends Service Committee, Middle Atlantic Region, at 4806 York Road. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the future of this non-profit organization.

In 1989, BNN was incorporated as a not-for-profit educational organization to bring to the public’s attention alternative news, information, and opinion that is not usually found in local or mainstream media. BNN’s primary means of accomplishing this goal has been by publishing The Sentinel.

A symbiotic relationship between BNN and Schenley Press, Inc., publisher of The Baltimore Chronicle, was established to make it possible to publish The Sentinel cost-effectively. Though independent from The Chronicle, The Sentinel has been printed in the center pages of The Chronicle. In this way, BNN’s Sentinel could reach a larger, more diverse audience than would otherwise be possible. Many services (telephone, office space, distribution, etc.) have been provided to BNN by Schenley Press, Inc., constituting a valuable subsidy for BNN.

This relationship also has benefitted Schenley Press, as income from BNN to Schenley Press for producing The Sentinel has helped cover The Chronicle’s costs.

The Chronicle has decided to make a change in its publication schedule, as reported on its front page this month. This change in publishing frequency will have an effect on The Sentinel.

Larry Krause, The Sentinel’s editor, would like to see The Sentinel continue publishing in print four times a year, coinciding with the four issues of The Chronicle, and with an increased number of pages in The Sentinel, from its current three pages to six to eight pages per quarter. Such an increase in page count would correspondingly increase BNN’s production costs, but there would be four issues instead of twelve, so the costs would not be that different.

Other possible scenarios for BNN include:

    —Continuing to publish in print each month. This option will require considerably more income than the organization has previously raised.

    —Publishing online monthly. This too would incur additional costs.

    —Publishing online only during the months when The Sentinel doesn’t appearing in print.

    —Continuing to publish three or four pages each quarter.

    —Ceasing to publish a newspaper altogether and finding other means of providing information to the public.

    —Deciding on another course of action.

This meeting is critically important to everyone with an interest in freedom of the press, dissemination of a broad spectrum of views, and media diversity. BNN welcomes and encourages your attendance. Dinner will be served. RSVP by January 4 to Max Obuszewski at 410-323-7200.


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This story was published on December 5, 2001.