Media expert Dan Kennedy of Northeastern University gave keynote speech

Bob SpragueSprague

UPDATED Nov. 17: Arlington’s hyperlocal nonprofit independent digital-only news website – YourArlington – honored its founder, Bob Sprague, at a festive event in the back room at Donut Villa (319 Broadway in Arlington Center) on Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Organizers request business-casual attire. 

The evening featured a talk by prominent media commentator Dan Kennedy, tributes from state and local officials, delicious food and drinks -- and a public celebration of Sprague’s 17 years of work to create and run the independent news website that has grown to an estimated 70,000 unique visitors per month and has become Arlington’s leading source of independent local news.

“YourArlington is a local treasure, and it would not exist without the vision, talent and commitment of Bob Sprague,” said Larry Slotnick, Arlington Town Meeting member and cochair of the event. “Arlington is a more vibrant and informed community because of Bob’s work.”

Perspective on news media

Kennedy, longtime Northeastern University journalism professor, nationally known media commentator and coauthor (with Ellen Clegg) of the forthcoming book, What Works in Community News: Media Startups, News Deserts, and the Future of the Fourth Estate, (Beacon Press),delivered keynote remarks at the event.

“Bob Sprague had a long and consequential career in print journalism at The Globe, the Herald and several other news outlets,” Kennedy said. “I have been following YourArlington’s progress for more than a decade. It is an important model for what independent local journalism has become in the 21st century.”  

Like many other news outlets, YourArlington recently became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Veteran nonprofit executive Susan Webber chairs the organization’s fund-raising committee and has underlined the need for citizen support for the free, online news website.

“It’s a small miracle that a publication like YourArlington can be written, edited and continuously updated yet remain free to its readers,” said Webber. “Because our mission depends on as many people as possible having access to YourArlington, donations from generous members of the community are essential. This event celebrating Bob will be a fun way for people to give their support.” 

As part of his planned transition, Sprague remains president of the nonprofit's board of directors but stepped down as editor July 1. His successor, Judith Pfeffer, has high hopes for YourArlington’s future. “Arlington is a great town, and what Bob has built here is a precious source of information and a renewable resource for all Arlingtonians. Bob richly deserves the thanks of everyone who values high-quality local news and its contribution to our democracy.”

Tickets to the Nov. 15 celebration are available at $100 per person on the website Look in the upper-right-hand corner of this website, under the bold red headline "Support our fund-raiser," and click on the associated image to purchase tickets online.

        This news announcement was published Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023, based on information from members of the board/advisory board of YourArlington, and updated Nov. 17.