Something happened last week that gave me some hope. Actually, it gave our whole team at DigBoston a boost. Our glorious return to print in June was acknowledged by Poynter, which for those of you who aren’t journalism nerds I guess is best described as one of our top industry mags; basically, it’s for reporters what TMZ is for gutless celebrity gossip mongers, a critical must-read for devout media makers. As I told the writer who reached out to us about our midcoronavirus comeback:
We were like everyone else. We had no idea what was going to happen. For all we knew, it was the last thing we were ever going to report on. What, we’re going to go out not swinging?
Toiling in independent media is a perpetual struggle. Not just now but always and forever; that’s the grind. But I’m not here to complain; we’re committed to the fight, and as Poynter pointed out, we’ve managed to survive the treacherous COVID abyss so far, largely thanks to the allegiance of our readers and reporters, and to ample past experience shouldering storms of various severities.
Enough of the poor us speech, though. At least for now. We are alive and digging, and what’s more, we are moving forward with some awesome changes that we have been plotting for years. Like I told Poynter, YOLO, amirite!?! Back in March, we were forced to stop the print edition due to public health concerns and a significant loss of advertising revenue, but with help from hundreds of individual donors who stepped up to support us, we have done more reporting than ever before in our 22-year history, posting several original articles online daily while connecting with new and longtime readers on email and through social media.
Prior to the pandemic, we were about to introduce a new membership program. But with the circumstances, we put the perks on hold. We appreciate that so many people supported us anyway, and now, for those who haven’t already signed up, we hope that you consider becoming a monthly member so we can stay in print for another couple of decades. And here’s the best part—starting in August, we will send a sleek new biweekly print edition to members, alternating with a street edition that will also print 26 times a year and get distributed through partner locations and in thoroughly decontaminated street boxes. Plus there will be other member bonuses, including swag with our new Dig logo (to be unveiled soon).
We have also invested in pro-level streaming equipment and are working with longtime partners, including LaughBoston, to offer some of the region’s best virtual programming. We hope that you will sign up at digboston.com and be part of the action, as we continue to produce critical journalism and exciting events for years to come. We really can’t do it without you. In fact, if not for you, we wouldn’t even bother.
CHRIS FARAONE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.