A vision for the future, and how community support fits in.
We at East Greenwich News have been running a major fundraising campaign for the month of February; a generous matching donor has offered to match the first month of each sustaining donation we receive this month. So you may already know that we’re asking for your support. Today, we wanted to tell you why.
East Greenwich News really is a “we,” by the way, but it isn’t completely off-base to refer to it as “I” – Elizabeth McNamara. It’s true that I do much of the work of creating East Greenwich News, and it’s also true that I do it with help – some of it formal help (many readers learned recently that we have a board), some of it informal help from friends and neighbors, and some of it journalistic help – information provided by sources and suggestions provided by readers.
For some time, I’ve operated East Greenwich News as though it was a personal project, or perhaps a very serious hobby, acting as a quasi-volunteer. But it’s not what I’ve wanted. I’d like to contribute something to the community that doesn’t require my active participation. I want East Greenwich News to be able to stand alone, with or without me.
Journalism is changing rapidly. The Providence Journal – for which I worked for many years – is much smaller than it once was. Television, radio, and print publications are seeing digital-only competitors rise to try to cut into their markets. It’s a complex picture, and no one knows what it will look like in the future.
For local journalism, the picture is even murkier. The decline in advertising revenues from classified ads (long since departed to places like Craigslist) has gutted local papers. No one quite knows what will replace the parts of their work they can no longer afford to do. East Greenwich News belongs to LION, a group of local online news websites around the country that exchanges ideas and experiences in an effort to solve this problem. Lots of people are trying things; no one knows what’s going to work.
But I want to try to make it work, here, in East Greenwich. And I don’t want to just try by myself – I want to invite the East Greenwich community to try with me. This is a new information era, in which rumors fly at lightspeed across social media, organizations are creating fake news to drive clicks and make money, and the lines between journalist, commentator, and entertainer have been blurred. In this new world, I feel like the work to which I’ve dedicated much of my life – fundamentally good journalism, backed by investigation and objective fact – is more important than ever.
I know many of my readers agree. I know this because I’m fortunate enough in this job to know many of my readers personally. I love that about serving this community. And I’m hopeful that we can build something together – that I can lend my experience doing this work to help lead the creation of a sustainable news source, and that you, my friends, neighbors, readers, and even critics – can jump in and help us figure out how to do it.
That’s why I wanted to ask for one other thing. If you are interested in taking an even larger role, beyond helping to fund East Greenwich News, please contact me. I am trying to build the kind of team (writers, photographers), and the kind of board (not afraid to ask for money), that will be able to take East Greenwich News forward years, even decades, into the future. Let’s talk it over and see whether we might find a way to work together.
I want to thank my readers and my neighbors in East Greenwich for all the support you’ve shown this effort over the years, and especially in the last few weeks (if you’ve been reading, you know what I mean).
That kind of support is something money can’t buy. But there are some things only money can buy. East Greenwich News needs your help with those, too! So if you feel the way I do about the importance of quality local news coverage, please consider becoming a sustaining donor – there’s no better time than right now, while you’re thinking about it.
Donate to East Greenwich News during February and take part in a sustaining donor match! Show your love for local news – click here to learn more.