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The Bay State Banner, Boston, Massachusetts’ only Black-owned newspaper, will be taking necessary measures to ensure that the weekly publication does not suffer the fate of many other print businesses that have been shut down.

This publication has served as a vital source for news for the African American community that resides in Boston as its contents are generally geared towards the interest of that particular group. The focus provides coverage on the social, political and economic condition of African American people. It is an independent newspaper that initially surfaced in 1965 by Melvin B. Miller.

According to a recent audit, The Banner has a print circulation of nearly 34,000 and has a readership close to 150,000.

The recession has continued to rear its ugly head and took its toll on The Bay State Banner. As advertising revenue was starting to show a sharp decline, Miller, stated that he was prepared to shut down the paper.

Upon hearing the news of a possible shut down, Harvard University law professor Charles Ogletree began to line up investors that would be another source to make sure that the newspaper was not forced to permanently end its run.

Miller, the publisher and editor of the newspaper, has stated that he will be accepting a $200,000 loan from the city of Boston to aid in its financial struggle and save it from closing up shop. The Boston Local Development Corp., which is a private nonprofit that is administered by the city that provides cash to small businesses, will be providing the loan to The Bay State Banner. The offer was made to Miller by Mayor Thomas Menino last week.

Menino had stated that the loan was an effort to help a business that has become very significant to the minority community. Ironically, the publication reaches out to a community that could be very vital to Menino as he will be up for reelection as mayor.

Aside from print, The Banner also has a Web site which brings in 1 million new visitors each month and has created new publications geared towards diversifying its outlets for revenue. Other publications include Be Healthy which focuses on reducing racial differences through public awareness and Inclusion which is primarily concerned with speaking on diversity.

An upcoming publication, entitled Step Up were recently the recipients of a $50,000 grant awarded by The Boston Foundation in order to highlight the achievements of colored students that are a part of the Boston Public Schools system.

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