UPDATED, Dec. 10: Let's celebrate Monday, Dec. 10: The day marks 12 years that I have been a slave to YourArlington.com. That's good: I choose to be a slave.
The site devoted to Arlington news and opinion is about to turn into a teen, but I think it's been maturing for a while.
-- Since 2014, the site has published restaurant reviews (watch for more next year).
-- For more than two years, Susan Gilbert has reported about Select Board meetings and recently provided an exclusive report about the long-stalled Mugar project.
-- In early 2016, Jo Anne Preston began taking notes for news stories and later became the site's regular School Committee reporter.
-- Three other freelancers periodically provide local feature stories.
-- In August, the site welcomed Steve Poltorzycki, an Arlington resident who writes a column about local real estate.
All five of the reporters referred to live in town, as does the publisher. Why is that is important? You get news about the town from those who see it close up and understand some of the local context.
The Advocate and Patch cannot say that. The weekly newspaper left town 21 years ago. Patch arrived in 2010. Neither has a regular resident writer. For both media outlets, editors come and go.
So what's coming in 2019?
YourArlington is working on a fancier calendar, better mobile design and a question:
Do you value local journalism enough to support it with your dollars?
Small, local websites vie for attention with Google and Facebook. Nationwide, they are reaching the limits of banner advertising. Both trends crimp finances.
What would you pay to keep the site growing?
Let Bob Sprague know at publisher at yourarlington.com.
Thanks for reading all these years.
P.S. I publish YourArlington.com, in part, as a local response to corporate ownership, one that has managed the decline of The Arlington Advocate since the Jorgensens sold the weekly in 1986.
Corporate censorship is alive and well, the Texas Observer reports.
Jim Hightower’s latest column, “Free the Free Press from Wall Street Plunderers,” takes on corporations feeding on America’s newspapers. He points Digital First Media (owner of the Boston Herald) and GateHouse Media (owner of The Arlington Advocate). He calls them “hedge-fund scavengers” and “ruthless Wall Street profiteers out to grab big bucks fast” by gutting newsrooms.
Creators Syndicate, the distribution firm that has long placed Hightower’s column in various media outlets, told Hightower that it would not be distributing his column out of fear of retribution from Digital First and Gatehouse.
Read more here >>
I thank Joe Hyde, a web publisher in Texas and a member of LIONS, for this link. YourArlington.com is a member of LIONS.
This blatantly self-promoting news announcement was published Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, and updated Dec. 10, to add a P.S. and adjust copy.