By Elizabeth F. McNamara
I crossed over Division Street into East Greenwich on Main Street Saturday night, seeing the lights on in the Varnum Armory (what was happening there, I wondered) and the Odeum dark (I’d missed the two Halloween movies that had screened earlier) and the people coming in and out of Mainstreet Coffee and other restaurants and bars on Main Street. I was home and it felt good.
There’s something about coming home after even just a few days away to help you see your town in a fresh light. Especially after these few days.
Together with Mary Louise – ML – Formisano, I just spent three days in Nashville doing a whole lot of thinking about East Greenwich. That’s because we were there representing East Greenwich News for “LION19,” the annual conference for Local Independent Online News, an organization we’ve been a part of since our first go at this in 2014.
We were with journalists and publishers and sales people and the businesses that support all that, all of us talking – and talking – about how to do our jobs better and make sure that local independent news survives and thrives.
Survives? Yes, survives. Because it’s not a given anymore.
The LION19 conference was an opportunity to see how others are making a go of local news in these uncharted waters. And we learned a lot. Some good news for us: we have a very dedicated following. The challenge? To grow that following and invite readers to become members. After all, EG News rebooted in 2017 as a nonprofit because we saw journalism as a public good for our community. That means the community has an active role in all of this.
We are excited about what we learned (and grateful for all the wonderful people we met at the conference who willingly shared what was working for them) and eager to share it with you in coming weeks and months.
In the meantime, if you haven’t signed up for our email newsletter yet, please consider it. It’s the best way to stay current on everything EG. Here’s a link to sign up.
If you have any thoughts, suggestions or critiques about what we’re doing, let us know: contact [email protected].
Finally, consider supporting what we do by becoming a sustaining member. One-time contributions are great, too, but we hope you will think about taking that next step and becoming a sustaining member. Click on the link below. And, as always, thanks for reading and being our inspiration!