It’s a tight economy and the media forecast for Huntington and Long Island in 2012 calls for even more belt tightening.
That was a recurring theme as media elite and business power brokers gathered at the media breakfast Wednesday to ponder where the region is headed.
A full house at the in Melville listened in as Newsday’s Joye Brown moderated a panel of local media, which included reporters from the Associated Press, NBC, FiOS1, The Long Islander and Patch.
“It’s a unique opportunity to bring this diverse press corps – from TV to print and radio – to give their perspectives on the major issues that are affecting the town and Long Island,” Chamber Chairman Robert Bontempi said. “This gives you depth behind the headlines.”
One topic sure to generate headlines in the coming months is the state-mandated tax cap and its impact on budgets in and school districts.
“They’ve rolled out a lot of layoffs already and huge cutbacks in schools,” Patch Associate Regional Editor observed. “You almost don’t know it unless your kid is involved. Then suddenly you have to pay more to be in marching band and you’re out selling cookies.”
If the conversation on stage cast economic gloom, the breakfast also allowed local merchants to network and learn how to pitch stories to news organizations.
Long Island Business News reporter David Winzelberg struck a positive tone when he said Huntington is pro development and business friendly compared to elsewhere on the Island.
“It’s nice to hear their perspectives, what they are looking for,” said Huntington Town Councilwoman , who listened intently from the audience.
Berland offered her own storyline for 2012: “It’s the economy and bringing funding back to the arts and not for profits. That’s most important, at least for me. I want to make sure all the agencies in the Town of Huntington are taken care of and provide the services for the people who need them the most.”