The news site has been an absolute labor of love since its inception in January 2014, and I want to take a moment to mark this milestone as we continue to work toward articles no. 10,000, 20,000 and beyond.
I launched the New Canaanite two days after being laid off in the wake of the sale of the last place I worked, an ambitious nationwide online news project.
Basically I started running around town, covering everything I could while explaining what NewCanaanite.com is and meeting interview subjects and prospective advertisers if not in their own homes or workplaces, in coffee shops, the library or generously shared space in the Red Cross building on Main Street.
Thanks to some of our truly wonderful local businesses that decided to advertise on New Canaanite, I have been able to dedicate myself full-time since that first year to doing what I love (and from my own office on Elm Street): Community journalism.
Always stimulating and rewarding for those who work in it, the field of community journalism is growing and expanding as tools for news-gathering and -delivery rapidly emerge online. Businesses also are armed with Internet tools to ensure they’re reaching specific audiences through advertising that is dramatically more cost-efficient than what’s been offered by legacy media companies (though the sea change has surprised those print publishers still carrying unrealistic cost structures).
NewCanaanite.com covers traditional news areas in government, public safety, schools and events—the 5,000th article is a good example—as well as land use, traffic, pets and wildlife, resident profiles, parking, local history, public parks and the downtown. The news site has won dozens of “Excellence in Journalism” Awards from the CT Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
It seems to be working—here’s a look at the newsletter’s performance:
|NewCanaanite.com||'Media & Publishing' Industry Average|
In consultation with a local editorial board and with strategic use of a group of talented freelance reporters and columnists, the New Canaanite abides by two criteria for any piece of content that appears on it:
- It must be of interest to someone with strong ties to the town (from here, lives here, works here); and
- It would look out of place on a news site covering any other town.
Thank you so much for reading and interacting with the site and this very small, very happy company of one full-time person, whether you’re uploading events to our Community Calendar, sending news tips in confidence, attending our monthly Community Coffee at New Canaan Library, submitting comments to articles under your full and verifiable name or—most recently—contributing to a live photo gallery from special events through Instagram hashtagging (such as Friday’s senior prom and post prom).
The New Canaanite is shaped and sustained by the residents of the town, and I am deeply grateful to you.