bay_state_banner.jpgBOSTON (AP) _ The publisher of Boston's only black-owned newspaper says he'll accept a $200,000 loan from the city to avert the shutdown of the financially struggling weekly.

Bay State Banner Publisher Mel Miller tells The Boston Globe “only a fool wouldn't take'' the loan, which Mayor Thomas Menino offered earlier this week.

The loan will come from the Boston Local Development Corp., a private nonprofit administered by the city that provides cash to small businesses.

The 44-year-old Bay State Banner suspended publication this month, blaming a steep drop in advertising.

Kelly McBride, an ethics specialist at the Poynter Institute, said publications that take public money risk their reputations of being impartial and independent. But Miller says he's not compromising his independence.