“We are inspired to preserve and uphold hyperlocal journalism through a digital-first, paywall-free website which we believe is not only a sustainable model but the future of the industry. With Monadnock Beat, we want to capture ‘the rhythm of the region’ from breaking news to the events, people and places that make the Monadnock region so unique. We also want to have fun, build community and entertain along the way and ultimately connect all things Monadnock.” — Meghan Pierce
On July 7th, Meghan Pierce, editor of Monadnock Beat, passed away peacefully at Monadnock Community Hospital and her full obituary can be found on Monadnock Beat. In the spirit of community, honoring her legacy, and fulfilling her vision for a news site that connects the community she loved with reliable journalism, we are raising funds to update and officially launch the business she worked so hard to create.
Not only was Meghan my best friend, but we shared a passion for providing quality local journalism to the people of the Monadnock region. With a shared love for our community, I was honored to partner with her. Together, we created a solid business plan for a hyper-local news website and named it Monadnock Beat. With over 15 years of journalism experience, Meghan would be the editor. As the publisher, I would bring over 10 years of experience owning my own business plus 20 years of accounting experience and we both valued the goal of providing our community a platform that kept them informed about the things they cared about. We both had extensive connections to the collaborators in the region that would help us to make this a success. The first startup phase was completed in early 2020: the site was designed, the budgets were made, and the initial businesses we approached were ready to begin supporting us with advertising.
Meghan began experiencing health issues during this startup phase. Fighting cancer is a tough road and you can only take it one day at a time. She did not want to officially launch the website until she knew she was well enough to provide consistent quality content. We both agreed it was unethical to sell advertising when she was uncertain if she could keep up with the level of coverage she felt the community deserved. Meghan added content to the site over the next two years during those times she felt strong enough to write. She was also training her daughter, Eve, and another young writer, Reo Sleeper, to assist with stories and event coverage. Eve had the greatest training any writer could ask for: she had been shadowing an award-winning journalist her whole life.
In the summer of 2022, Meghan's health journey required her full attention and we had run out of startup funds to "keep the lights on," so we parked the site and it has not been updated since August 2022 due to lack of funds. When Meghan passed away, I thought that I would have to shut down the site forever, but Eve and her soon-to-be-husband Reo Sleeper asked me to reconsider. Their plan all along has been to continue Meghan's legacy and I am excited to join them and stay on as publisher. We have started to organize our new team and now we are asking the community for the startup funds. We will take time to grieve, reconnect with our local collaborators, and then begin creating the kind of content that Meghan believed this community deserved.
Any funds donated to this campaign will be used to cover the costs to operate Monadnock Beat, including updating the site and hiring our new staff. Meghan loved this community and the best way to honor her memory would be to provide us with the opportunity to see her dream come true.
Eve, Reo and I are prepared to do the work if you, our future readers, will give us that chance.
Publisher, Monadnock Beat