VillageSoup eliminates blogging, member stories

Sep 13, 2018

Rockland — VillageSoup management announced Sept. 13 that it will discontinue blogging services, member stories and discussions on its and sites.

As our primary mission is one of journalism, it is important to clearly separate materials that are advertising from those that are news.

Town news columns from regular contributors on will continue to be included in The Republican Journal and the website.

Moving forward, members of the community can continue to share their voices through guest columns, letters to the editor, online comments and online columns, but in a manner that is responsible and ethical.

We appreciate the community's patience through this evolution in online journalism and welcome comments and questions. You may email Publisher Bryan Gess at

Comments (15)
Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Sep 16, 2018 13:35

Understand the changes, yet eliminating posting the comments will lead to a loss of readership; including mine. Hopefully a way can be found to do it that works; maybe by all posts being edited like is done at the Free Press. Sad it had to come to this. Civility and common courtesy go a long ways.


Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Sep 15, 2018 11:13

Changes like this is what formed the old  "Waldo Independent".  Maybe enough changes will end up with a competing news source.  Republican Journal AND the Waldo Independent for years and years were able to survive.  After all, history repeats itself, right?

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Sep 14, 2018 18:27

I believe we have to give Dan, and Village Soup, the benefit of the doubt.  Freedom of expression, or any other freedom, requires a sense of responsibility for the consequences of that freedom.  I don't envy anyone who has to referee a public forum in these toxic political times.  Admittedly I love a good debate but in any human dynamic there have to be rules and that means someone to enforce those rules.  When the game gets out of hand, and the rules openly ignored, a "time out" must be called.  We reap what we sow.

So, let's all now retreat to our Facebook pages and nurse our resentments in the quiet of individual repose while remembering the words of a great American:

“The strongest democracies flourish from frequent and lively debate, but they endure when people of every background and belief find a way to set aside smaller differences in the service of a greater purpose.”  -Barack Obama

Posted by: Jennifer Hill | Sep 14, 2018 14:41

How disheartening that the business model you put forth at Village Soup has been cut off at the knees!

I was pleased with how well Village Soup was working. I thought it was serving as a model for other newspapers, and I was willing to pay a minimal fee for the service of putting announcements up in “Member Stories” about community events such as Belfast Community Radio’s weekly talk show “Finding Common Ground.”

When Reade Brower took over Village Soup, I was appreciative. I love the Free Press, and was sure that you all would be running a humdinger here in Belfast.

Disappointed is not strong enough a word for how I feel about this change.


Jennifer Hill, Waldo

Posted by: Dan Dunkle | Sep 14, 2018 10:13

We will still have columns by the columnists such as Another View (a conservative column), David Grima, Reade Brower, myself, Pearl Benjamin. We also will have online comments on stories like the discussion we are having here. In addition, as always, people can send letters to the editor and guest columns for the editor's consideration. What we are not going to have are bloggers writing whatever they want with no supervision and posting them with no regard to our policies or journalistic ethics, and we will not have advertising masquerading as blogs.

Posted by: Julian Sheffield | Sep 14, 2018 09:10

Apologies, I misquoted Catherine Cooper. She's taking "stacks" of the Free Press. Look out, Republican Journal.

Posted by: Julian Sheffield | Sep 14, 2018 09:08

I am distressed to discover that a fellow Mainer -- Catherine Cooper -- is being so selfish and unethical taking "handfuls" of the Free Press to prevent others from having it. God help us all if we can't handle our political differences with a little more civility and integrity than that.

Thank you Village Soup for honoring your commitment to reporting real news and facts, and helping us all understand the difference between news and opinion or wishful thinking disguised as news.


Posted by: Catherine Cooper | Sep 14, 2018 07:51

And finally I totally agree with Ron Horvath on his comment here.

Posted by: Catherine Cooper | Sep 14, 2018 07:49

I guess when Conservatives pushed back against the obvious media bias of Village Soup and all liberal media bias, this is the outcome! Dan Dunkel, I’m calling you and Reade Brower out on this move! You have created an echo chamber of liberal voices just like the Portland Press and the “Free Press” which I grab stacks of to line my cat’s litter box.  I am canceling my subscription and shame on Village Soup!

Posted by: Dennis Corkum | Sep 13, 2018 19:39

Hope you don't eliminate David Grima.  Most Maine news sites I watch allow discussion.  Thought you were more liberal. I find your site has more meaningful discussions than most were it is mostly back and forth ranting.  We live in an area where the are people who really have something relevant to say.

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Sep 13, 2018 18:33

Well, as the old saying goes if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.  What it doesn't say is lock up the kitchen behind you.  Well, there's plenty of avenues on the web for expression but it is sad to see the main resource in our area, a traditional one for debate,  discussion, and the clash of opinions, if often heated, retreating behind a dark wall of silence.  These are troubled times and such times require courage not timidity.  Closing the door won't shut out the noise of debate but only isolate you from it.  That noise, the varied voices of this community, is a necessary part of a democratic system.  By shutting it down you only serve those who cannot stand to be contradicted and the closer we get to the end of the founders' dream.

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Sep 13, 2018 17:16

Why are we surprised that it has happened?  Will miss posting yet there comes a time that someone says, "No more.". Evidently that time is now.

Posted by: Jeff Sukeforth | Sep 13, 2018 14:27

Of and one more little bit of info concerning this removal. You couldn't even wait a couple days to pull the Member Stories section I see after posting my previous that the link to put a member story in has already been removed. Very poor way to run a business and now I am really looking forward to a payment for the balance of my subscription year. Very disappointed in how you decided to handle this.

Posted by: Jeff Sukeforth | Sep 13, 2018 14:24

I would of hoped that this kind of news would have come to those who have a subscription and use the Member Stories section for their groups etc, would have come in the form of a letter. This kind of blind siding subscribers is a poor way to do business. It smacks of feeling our business is no longer needed or wanted in the form of payment for a service. I for one used the Member Stories a lot and enjoyed reading other articles in here.  OK, I understand you're in the business of journalism, after all you publish a newspaper, but cannot see a lot of other news items taking the place of Member Stories unless you are going to publish news from away because we pretty much know there is not normally a whole lot going in the local area to fill up another section with news other then folks being able to post Member stories. I am sorry you feel my business in the form in which I subscribe is no longer needed.  Oh and finally, will we all be receiving a retro payment back for the period after you remove the Member Stories?

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Sep 13, 2018 14:22

Tough decision for you to make.

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