REVIEW:  Why should we care about What Works in Community News?

February 24, 2024
Cover of Clegg and Kennedy’s book on local journalism.
Cover of Clegg and Kennedy’s book on local journalism. Photo credit: Greg Jarboe.

In partnership with the Acton Exchange, The Silver Unicorn Bookstore will host authors Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy on March 1 to discuss their new book, What Works in Community News: Media Startups, News Deserts, and the Future of the Fourth Estate. Residents can ask questions and engage with the authors at the event, discussing community news challenges specific to their towns. The book is a groundbreaking study of the pioneers who are starting local news outlets in their communities.

Although Acton and Boxborough are not classified as complete news deserts, they are still affected by the decline of local journalism. The local Beacon newspaper stopped publishing in May, 2022. Kennedy and Clegg’s book focuses on successful community news startups across the country, including the Bedford Citizen. The book tackles the crucial role of local news and informed citizenry in a healthy democracy. Thriving community news models can inspire and offer hope for the future of local journalism and community engagement.

Entrance to Silver Unicorn bookstore
Entrance to the Silver Unicorn bookstore. Photo credit: Greg Jarboe.

The Silver Unicorn, at 12 Spruce St. in West Acton, is an independent bookstore that sells books for all ages. The store showcases books by local authors and operates school book fairs and pop-ups at community events. The event with Kennedy and Clegg will be on Friday March 1 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM.

Greg Jarboe is a current volunteer reporter for the Acton Exchange, a former editor of the Acton Minuteman, and a former chair of the Acton Select Board. Greg enjoyed reading about an old colleague in Chapter 3 of Kennedy and Clegg’s book; Mike Rosenberg, the first paid staff reporter at The Bedford Citizen, was the editor of the Bedford Minute


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