Evan Brandt, the last reporter of the once-thriving Pottstown Mercury, is overworked and overwhelmed as he continues to try and cover community news using the few remaining resources, writes Jon Wertheim for CBS’s “60 Minutes.”
Brandt has been covering Pottstown and surrounding towns for the last 24 years.
In that time, he has seen his newspaper go down from dozens of reporters to just him. Things turned especially bad once Alden Global Capital bought the paper in 2011.
Since then, the hedge fund has sold the paper’s building and drastically cut the newsroom staff. After a layoff in 2017, Brandt wanted some answers and accountability so he tried to talk to Heath Freeman, the president of Alden Global Capital.
He wanted to ask Freeman “’What value do you place on local news?’ And I’m not talking about money. ‘What value do you place on it?’”
However, the hedge fund president refused to talk to him.
Still, Evan Brandt continues to fight for the local newspaper in Pottstown.
“It reminds us all about shared experiences,” he said. “You know who died, you know who graduated from high school. You know whose kid had a great game. You know those are all important elements about holding people together.”
Read more about Evan Brandt from CBS’s “60 Minutes.”