Being a Dorchester resident, we are fortunate to have multiple local newspapers in what is Boston's largest neighborhood. Just like the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe fight each other and NBC and FOX feud, these local newspapers are adversarial also.
Two local Dorchester newspapers which have a competitive rivalry are Dorchester Reporter and Neighborhood Photo News. Both of these local newspapers in Dorchester are terrific and they do a great public service for Dorchester. Each newspaper distributes 10,000 papers per issue with The Dorchester Reporter being a weekly and Neighborhood Photo News being a monthly.
The Dorchester Reporter is owned by Ed Forry and his son Bill and Neighborhood Photo News is owned by Stephen Allen Jr.
Over the past year, the rivalry between the two Dorchester newspapers exploded with ferocity.
It began earlier last year in the State Senate race between Ed Forry's daughter-in-law Linda running against South Boston's Nick Collins to replace Jack Hart who resigned to take a job in a private law firm.
For years, it had been well known fact in Dorchester that the Dorchester Reporter is actually the public relations organ for Linda Dorcena Forry in her political career in effort to promote her. Although her husband and father in law hired an ombudsman to provide "neutral" coverage of the race, many in the community felt that it was not.
One individual who did not feel the coverage was fair was Steven Allen Jr who decided on the other hand would promote Nick Collins candidacy in his newspaper as an effort to counter the Dorchester Reporters' coverage of the race.
As we have learned historically, news sites and media outlets have supported rival candidates as typified by the Boston Globe usually endorsing the Democrat while the Boston Herald usually endorses the Republican.
So with the Dorchester Reporter pushing Forry's candidacy and Neighborhood Photo News pushing Collins, this was nothing new in the media industry.
However, a few days before the April 30, 2013 Democratic State Senate Special election approached, the relationship between the two newspapers took a nose dive.
It happened in front of an Adam’s Village business owner who shall remain anonymous. The business owner was in a conversation with Ed Forry and Steven Allen Jr approached both of them.
According to Stephen Allen Jr himself, he said that Ed Forry who was angry at Stephen Allen Jr for pushing Collins’ candidacy publically embarrassed Steve by saying to him in front of the Adams Village business owner that he possessed a copy of a police report where Stephen Allen Jr was allegedly arrested for soliciting a prostitute on Freeport Street.
According to Stephen Allen Jr, this allegation was not true and he does not solicit prostitutes.
Well the feud between the Dorchester newspapers would continue to evolve after the conclusion of the State Senate special election into the recent Boston Mayoral contest.
On May 4, 2013 at Mayor-Elect Martin Walsh’s campaign kickoff at the Strand Theater in Uphams Corner, the two newspapers went at it again. This time it involved Stephen Allen Jr and Political Blogger/Journalist Gintautus Dumcius.
According to Allen Jr, Gin Dumcius made a snide remark to Allen Jr that “Neighborhood Photo News will never win a Pulitzer Prize.” Allen Jr then told Bill Forry, managing editor of the Dorchester Reporter, about Gin’s comment and asked him to have Gin stop. According to Allen Jr, Forry said he told Gin about Allen Jr’s complaint but that Gin denied ever saying anything.
Well the controversy between Allen Jr and Dumcius evolved after the election when rumors began to swirl that Stephen Murphy, who finished 4th in the At-Large City Council race, would run again for Massachusetts State Treasurer. Murphy who has run twice for the office ran a respectable campaign against 2014 Democratic Gubernatorial frontrunner Steve Grossman by getting 40% state-wide against Grossman.
The controversy erupted when on or about December 17, 2013 Dumcius called Murphy saying that Allen Jr told Dumcius that Murphy was going to definitely run for Treasurer. If Murphy runs and wins, the fifth place finisher from the last At-Large race moves up into the open seat.
Murphy who was irate and tired of having to put down speculation about his political future immediately called Allen Jr and told him that “Dumcius had just called him,” and he said that it was Allen Jr who was peddling the rumor about Murphy was “running for State Treasurer.”
Allen Jr denied the charges to Murphy about being responsible for the leak to Dumcius and angrily called Bill Forry to complain again about Dumcius “throwing him (Allen) under the bus and lying to Murphy by saying that he (Allen Jr) was the source of the rumor about Murphy running for State Treasurer. Bill Forry told Allen Jr that he would speak with Dumcius to find out the truth. According to Allen Jr, when Forry spoke to Dumcius, again he (Dumcius) denied ever dropping a dime on Allen Jr by falsely using his name as a source.
This leads to the following questions about this interesting local newspaper feud in Dorchester?
Who is telling the truth: Stephen Allen Jr or Gintautus Dumcius?
Does Ed Forry actually have a copy of a police report where Allen Jr was allegedly arrested for soliciting a prostitute on Freeport Street?
Is Boston City Council President Stephen Murphy running for State Treasurer?
Answers to these questions would satisfy many…