Hello from Montclair Local’s new leader (Letter from the Publisher)
Dear Montclair Local readers,
I am happy to introduce myself as the new publisher of the Montclair Local. Some of you may know me from my work as the editor and publisher of Baristanet, a digital news source and online community serving Montclair since 2004.
I am thrilled to bring Montclair Local and Baristanet together under one strong, digital news site and give readers of both publications a more robust news experience. Keeping the best of both sites, in terms of content and existing features, as well as adding new ones, the new Montclair Local will bring you news daily about government, education, sports, arts, culture and community as well as food, lifestyle, events and more.
The new Montclair Local will honor its mission to provide in-depth reporting on issues that affect Montclair residents while also giving readers the experience Baristanet has long been known for – keeping you up to speed on everything that’s happening in Montclair and showcasing new businesses, restaurants and the people who make the town such an exciting and interesting place to live. I look forward to sharing more updates as we work to bring you this new online destination.
I’d also like to share something about myself and my connection to Montclair. I moved to town from Queens with my husband and two children in December 2003. Our family was drawn to Montclair’s beauty, culture and diversity. What led me to become involved in Baristanet and local news, only months after moving to Montclair, was a desire to learn more about this special town and the people and places that make it so.
My family has lived in three out of four wards in Montclair, both as owners and renters. My children attended Nishuane, Hillside, Northeast, Glenfield and Montclair High School, where they formed lasting friendships with young people from all over town and developed deep bonds with some amazing teachers. Organizations like the YMCA of Montclair, Jazz House Kids and the Montclair Art Museum were their second homes, helping them to grow, develop and pursue their passions.
I’m still discovering new things about Montclair. I’m also hearing from people who love the town, but worry about change and rely on local news to stay informed and apprised of what is happening – both around town and in Montclair’s municipal government.
No longer having a print edition of the Montclair Local is a big change, but it was financially necessary to secure the future of this news organization. Still, it’s important to find ways to ensure that all residents of Montclair stay informed. Utilizing our relationships in the community, we will look to find ways to make the news accessible for all.
In addition to the talented reporters and contributors at Montclair Local, and those I’ve worked with at Baristanet, I will rely on the expertise of Montclair Local’s dedicated governing board to help navigate the challenges Montclair Local faces today and advance it as a trusted news source for the community that will endure.
This is an exciting moment for everyone who has been involved in both Montclair Local’s journey as an independent nonprofit startup and those who helped build Baristanet, one of the oldest, continuously operating hyperlocal news sites in the country. I am also grateful to all the terrific people who have worked so hard at both organizations, now joined as one.
In my new role as publisher of Montclair Local, making sure all voices are heard, and amplifying the important work being done by the Montclair NAACP, Montclair Gateway to Aging in Montclair, Succeed2gether, Brother to Brother, Northeast Earth Coalition, Montclair Public Library Foundation, Toni’s Kitchen, AAPI Montclair and many, many more is a priority. All contribute to the sense of place of Montclair, as well as the ideals that reflect what residents want for the town.
These organizations, as well as businesses in Montclair and the Montclair public schools, have relied on both Baristanet and Montclair Local to tell their stories. As we enter this new chapter, I ask you to think of Montclair Local, your nonprofit news organization in Montclair, as a voice you need to sustain. The bright vision for Montclair Local’s future can only happen with your support – please give generously at montclairlocal.news/donations.
Thank you for your patience as I transition into this new role and work to bring you the new Montclair Local site in June. I would love to hear from you – please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, I will see you around town!
— Liz George