My name is Tim Wood. I am a journalist in Methuen, Massachusetts and I'm starting a project called the Merrrimack Valley Online Journalism Initiative (MVOJI).
I have been a professional journalist for 30 years now, this year the anniversary of receiving my first paycheck for something I reported. I have wanted to be a journalist since I was 8 years old and my passion for the profession is stronger today than ever.
I've covered national sports and news, I've traveled the world reporting that news. But I've always come back to local news. It's my passion and with the concept of local news evaporating, the concept of trusted local news is at a critical crossroads.
It's been embarrassing to be called a journalist over the last decade. The industry has suffered one scandal after another that has undermined the public's trust in journalists, how they're reporting and who's influencing that reporting.
At the same time, media conglomerates have bought up local newspapers and other news sources. Budgets were cut, resources diminished, newsrooms became ghost towns until the news operation closes.
It's what makes TRUE LOCAL JOURNALISM more important than ever. People need news but they need to be able to trust the source. So many commentators and social media pundits have put forth propaganda disguised as reporting. The end result is so much "news" just becomes white noise.
That's our goal with MVOJI, to use the latest technology to create bold new ways to bring local journalism to you from trained journalists with ethics and standards for what they report and how they report it.Your donation will be used to help us grow what we've started in Methuen, make this a local and maybe even a national movement.
I have had so much incredible input on what we've done in creating Loop Weekly, the city's first Methuen-based, Methuen-owned independent weekly news source in decades.
Folks have told us how important having this new community resource has been. We want to first grow what we're doing in Methuen and then expand throughout the Valley, giving communities more coverage than the occasional headline in the regional newspaper or Boston-based TV station (and mostly, only when it's bad news).
We're looking to use cost-effective means to embrace new technologies and give residents a voice in creating how they get their news -- and in many cases, being part of sharing news and views with the community.
Here's some examples of what we've done already:Loop Weekly:
local newspaper and website focused on covering Methuen news"Looped In Live":
a weekly show streamed on YouTube, Facebook and Periscope that covers Methuen current events and the newsmakers behind the news"MVC Gridiron Weekly":
a weekly show spotlighting Merrimack Valley Conference high school football and the student athletes succeeding on the field and in the classroom"Ranger Nation Radio":
a weekly show focusing on Methuen youth sports, and the student athletes and community members behind the sportsYOUR SUPPORT MEANS EVERYTHING!
Nonprofit news organizations are growing and thriving across the country. It takes corporate influence and a dependence on advertising dollars out of funding newsroom operations -- a large part of what has controlled media operations for too long.
Your donation will help us build our operation, give us the runway to allow this project to truly take off and thrive.
If you believe in local news, if you want to see local news in the Valley continue, please support what we're doing with the Merrimack Valley Online Journalism Initiative!