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When community news co-ops go from possible to probable

Dan Kennedy

According Professor Dan Kennedy’s recent post on the Nieman Journalism Lab’s website, the Banyan Project, an attempt to build sustainable, locally owned and controlled news sources, is getting closer to launch in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Haverhill Matters, which will mark a long-awaited return to local news publishing for the small Massachusetts town north of Boston, answers a need with a new approach for an environment Kennedy calls a “news desert.”

“It’s been a long time coming,” Kennedy writes. “Tom Stites, a veteran journalist who’s worked at The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune, came up with the idea of local news co-ops a few years ago. He founded the Banyan Project to serve as an umbrella; Haverhill Matters will be the pilot. I wrote about his plans for the Lab last year, as well as in the epilogue to my forthcoming book about online community journalism, The Wired City. The launch date for Haverhill Matters has slipped a few times, but at this point it looks like 2013 will be the year.”

To learn more about Kennedy’s perspective on the potential for news co-ops like Haverhill Matters, read the full article at the Nieman Journalism Lab site.