The Providence Journal

The fall campaign announcement season is here, bringing us closer to a new year bursting with political storylines. So thanks for stopping by. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo made critical remarks about the local media during an appearance Tuesday at Brown University, calling The Providence Journal a diminished way of reaching news consumers and labeling broadcast news, including a regular segment she does with WJAR-TV (Channel 10), "almost like talk radio."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The biggest union at The Providence Journal plans to stage a protest outside the newspaper’s Fountain Street office at noon Thursday.

Your humble correspondent never expected to be in the Statehouse for a budget vote in August. Then again, Rhody politics is full of surprises, right? So thanks for stopping by. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Rhode Island Public Radio has hired Lynn Arditi, a longtime award-winning reporter at The Providence Journal, as the station's new health reporter. She starts in the new role August 15.

Arditi joins RIPR after more than three decades as a reporter, including 28 years at the ProJo, where she has covered a variety of beats, most recently health care.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The executive editor of The Providence Journal, Alan Rosenberg, said the newspaper is trying to raise its digital game while renewing its coverage of cities and towns outside Providence.

Katherine Gregg, who was reassigned last month from her longtime beat at the Statehouse, has been named the Providence Journal's political reporter, covering major stories and the state's congressional delegation, RIPR has learned.

Gregg will work from the ProJo's downtown office on Fountain Street as part of the new assignment. She declined to comment when contacted by RIPR.

RIPR FILE

The Providence Journal is facing further cuts through the latest in a series of buyouts offered by the newspaper's owner, GateHouse Media, RI Public Radio has learned.

Under the terms of the latest buyout, ProJo employees could receive between 13 and 17 weeks of pay, depending on their length of service with the company. Workers learned of the offer Tuesday.

[UPDATE August 17: The voluntary severance offer was announced in a memo from GateHouse CEO Kirk Davis, addressed to "all GateHouse Media Employees," according to a copy of the memo obtained by RIPR.

Calling all literate Rhode Islanders and Ocean State ex-pats: For a great read get thee to the bookstore (or Internet if you must) and get Bruce DeSilva’s latest Rhody-centric mystery novel "The Dread Line." It goes on sale in September.

RIPR file photo

A Providence police officer was scheduled for arraignment Friday after his arrest on charges of  breaking and entering and larceny involving a company that distributes newspapers for The Providence Journal.

Officer Jesse Ferrell, a 19-year veteran of the department, is accused of breaking into a distribution center and taking materials that are usually delivered inside the newspaper to home-delivery customers.

A summer slowdown of news? Rhode Island's summer of 2015 will likely be remembered for two important releases of information -- the State Police report on Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, and, more significantly, the unsealing of documents in the state's lawsuit over 38 Studios. As always, feel free to drop me a tip or your comments, and to follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

For more than 40 years, Bob Kerr worked at the Providence Journal, where he was beloved by many readers for his columns about the people and the issues that animate Rhode Island. Recently, he’s been thinking back on his time at the ProJo.

Hilary Horton was my editor when I wrote the local column in the Providence Journal 20 years ago.  We would get together in the late afternoon, looking for the better word, cleaning up the clutter, finding what the heck I was trying to say.  The column was always the better for it.

Providence Journal alumni reporters scored big in this year’s Pulitzer prizes, which were announced today by Columbia University, which administers  journalism’s top prizes.  Helene Cooper of the New York Times who was part of a team that won a Pulitzer for international reporting and Zach Mider of Bloomberg News  won for explanatory reporting. And Jen Levitz of the Wall Street Journal and Jonathan Saltzman of the Boston Globe were on teams that were Pulitzer finalists.

Once again it is time – if you haven’t already - to get your tickets to the  Providence Newspaper’s Guild’s annual Follies show at the Venus de Milo in Swansea, Mass. As always the show, a spoof of all things Rhode Island, but especially our state’s entertaining political culture,  is slated for the last Friday evening in February, which this year falls on Feb. 27th.

Veteran Rhode Island political reporter Jim Baron was remembered this afternoon as a journalist of great integrity, ability, dedication and humor at a celebration of his life at the Bellows Funeral Chapel in Lincoln, R.I.

Baron, who died January 5 at age 57 after a protracted illness, was a reporter for the Pawtucket Times and Woonsocket Call whose career spanned more than three decades, most of it spent covering Rhode Island politics and the General Assembly.

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