Preview magazine and This Week in Bermuda are fat little booklets published weekly with advertisements and information on seasonal events, tours, cultural sights, and activities, as well as roundups on the island’s history, restaurants, nature reserves, and shopping highlights. Both are available throughout the island, at all major hotels, airport and cruise ship terminals, and Visitors Service Bureaus.
Destination Bermuda (tel. 44/1-747-838-378, fax 44/1-747-839-808, ralstonpub [at] aol [dot] com) is an annual magazine published in the United Kingdom and distributed free of charge to Bermuda-bound airline passengers at check-in at Gatwick, London; New York; Toronto; and other major North American gateways. Photos and features highlight cultural attractions, activities, history, shopping, and business services.
Experience Bermuda, a glossy, hard-backed advertorial-heavy publication backed by the Bermuda Hotel Association, can be found in hotel rooms island-wide. Included are photo features and write-ups on things to see and do, wining and dining, and weddings and honeymoons. Check its companion website (www.experiencebermuda.com ) for seasonal deals on accommodation packages.
Dining Out in Bermuda (tel. 441/295-2412 or 441/292-1459, www.dininginbermuda.com ), produced and published locally, covers the island’s foodie scene, with menus, prices, dress codes, reservation phone numbers, features on local dishes and chefs, and other restaurant information, including hours and credit-card details. Meal reservations can be made through the magazine’s website.
Bermuda has one daily newspaper, The Royal Gazette ($0.75); one biweekly, the Bermuda Sun ($0.80); and one weekly, Mid-Ocean News ($0.75). All three are available at island newsstands and hotels.
The Royal Gazette (tel. 441/295-5881, www.royalgazette.bm ) dates back to 1828 and is owned and printed by Bermuda Press Holdings. While the professionalism of its writing and design ebbs and flows, it is a morning must-read for most locals, even those who perennially criticize the paper for its white roots and conservative slant on social issues. Indeed, the Gazette is an essential ingredient of life in Bermuda, where staying atop national truths and small-town gossip is considered imperative for dinner-party conversation.
The Gazette covers local news, sports, the arts scene, and the business community, its pages padded by wire stories covering overseas events. Aside from the funeral listings, the Gazette’s best-read section is the daily “Letters to the Editor,” on page 4, where views of all persuasions—sometimes signed, more often not—wax loudly on everything from political scandals to scolding over traffic violations.
For visitors, the Gazette is a barometer of island life. It also offers concrete resources including movie listings, a community calendar listing events, activities, shows, and art and museum openings, plus advertisements for auctions, end-of-season sales in Hamilton stores, and other services. The otherwise slim Saturday paper provides a rundown of restaurants and other businesses open on Sunday. If you are planning a trip and want to get a sense of what’s making headlines, check out the Gazette’s online edition before you arrive.
The Bermuda Sun, a tabloid owned and printed by the rival Island Press, publishes twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays, and is worth reading for what the Gazette leaves out. With a raft of columnists and feature writers, the Sun takes a decidedly more human-interest slant, with analyses of the island’s multiethnic population, and earnest examinations of politically fraught issues like independence, racism, and the lack of affordable housing. Its investigative reporting gives the Gazette a run for its money, too.
The Mid-Ocean News, relaunched as a tabloid in 2009, is the Gazette’s sister paper, which publishes on Friday, with a weekly circulation of 13,000. A thinner publication than either the Gazette or Sun, it can be disregarded for its soft news and overly sensational front-page headlines, but the long inside features, columns, editorials, and personality profiles are entertaining.
For such a small market, Bermuda has a plethora of glossy magazines, all fighting for a diminishing pot of advertising dollars. RG magazine, published six times a year and distributed free inside The Royal Gazette, offers newsy features, profiles of local personalities, and a comprehensive calendar of seasonal events. The Bermudian ($4), launched in 1930 in the vein of The New Yorker, downsized after its 75th anniversary in 2005 from a monthly to a quarterly. Produced by the Bermudian Publishing Company, it features Bermuda history, architecture, and traditions, and a well-perused party section. The magazine’s popular “Best of Bermuda Awards” issue each summer provides a well-vetted insider’s list of the island’s favorite shops, attractions, and services—a very useful resource for visitors.
Other magazines include Bermuda Media’s annual New Resident ($4.95), a resource for newcomers to the island; Who’s Who, a listing of Bermuda personalities; and Bermuda Real Estate Handbook, which offers advice on buying and selling property in Bermuda and advertises local realtors.
Business travelers should pick up a copy of Bermudian Business ($4.95), a Bermudian Publishing Company magazine, which counts many of the island’s CEOs as subscribers; Bottom Line, the Royal Gazette Ltd.’s free quarterly assessment of domestic and international company news, including in-depth corporate profiles; and Bermuda Insurance Quarterly, produced by Bermuda Media and sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers. As well, dot.bm magazine provides a rundown on ISPs, new technology, high-tech hardware, and communications service providers.
Local lifestyle magazines include Bermuda Homes & Gardens (tel. 441/295-5845, www.bdahomesandgardens.bm , $4) and the style and fashion magazine Show Off (tel. 441/ 296-7503, fax 441/295-0972, www.showoffmagazine.net , $4.95).
Major American, Canadian, and British newspapers are available at the large Phoenix Centre (3 Reid St., near the Queen St. junction, Hamilton, tel. 441/295-3838, phoenixstores.com, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Sat., noon–6 p.m. Sun.), and at some of its islandwide outlets, though the cost of flying them in makes for elevated prices. American daily papers like The New York Times ($2.50) and USA Today ($2.00) are flown in daily but do not end up on the shelves until afternoon. Weekend editions of Canadian papers, including the Toronto Star ($5.95) and Globe & Mail ($4.95), are available Sunday afternoons. British editions such as The Sunday Times ($11.95), Telegraph ($5.65), Mirror ($2.50), and Daily Mail ($3.25) come to the island aboard British Airways’ evening flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, appearing in stores the following morning. Some of the resort hotels fly in copies of The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and USA Today on afternoon flights to Bermuda, or distribute condensed versions of those publications downloaded daily from respective websites.
Magazine racks at the Phoenix and BookMart at Brown & Co., as well as other pharmacies and most large grocery stores, display weekly editions such as People, Time, Newsweek, US Weekly, New York, and The New Yorker—though typically a week late. All the major monthly U.S. glossies, from fashion to home decor magazines, as well as a few Canadian ones, are also sold at these stores, along with U.K. counterparts. Prices, particularly for the British editions once translated back into dollars (British Vogue, $15), can be daunting for magazine junkies.