A local alternative newspaper?

If I’ve learned anything from my work on NatesUpdates.com, it’s that there’s demand for local information which seems to not be covered elsewhere.  This has led me to wonder if it’s time to broaden the scope of local online news and information.  Maybe you’ve been thinking about this too.  If so, take the two-question poll here:  https://surveynuts.com/surveys/take?id=101599&c=1478875061TPTV

…and please send me a note!

First, let’s establish readership on NatesUpdates as a barometer of interest in alternative news and insights.  If NatesUpdates can draw a crowd, it makes sense that more writers could draw more of a crowd.  

So what kind of crowd can one person draw?  Well, here are the NatesUpdates.com stats for the first 21 posts over a period of four months — including one month when I didn’t write anything:

Stats — WordPress.com

In the world of one-person startup blogs, these are pretty good numbers.  And none of this could have been done without you.  Consider yourself part of a movement among those who appreciate local news in a  21st-century medium.

But back to the question:  “Is it time for a local alternative newspaper?”

NatesUpdates.com is great, but wouldn’t  it be better to have a news source a little bit bigger than a one-man blog?    Something like a Vermont Digger, but just for the greater Northfield area?  More contributors?  More points of view?  More information?

You might ask, “Is there really enough going on to justify an alt-paper?”

Believe, me, there is.  I’ve been asked to write on more subjects than I could possibly cover.  And frankly, these are things  readers would appreciate.  For examples:

  • How can a local business get 25 customers on a Thursday night?
  • Did you know the Northfield Middle/High School has ranked in Vermont’s Top 10 schools according to US News & World Report — three years in a row?
  • What are the best hiking trails in the area?  What does the view look like from the top of Scragg Mountain?
  • Did you know there’s a new connection between Northfield and TriBeCa’s The Flea Theater?  Yea, that’s a super interesting story I can’t wait to get to.

And these are just the tip of the iceberg topics.  There are lots of stories to tell!  There are pictures and videos to share, surveys to take, and maps to show us where to go.  You’ve seen it all here, all created by one guy with not enough time on his hands.

So let’s put the ball in your court.

If you’re a reader, what do you think about supporting an alternative news source?  What if you could ask for a specific topic to be covered?

If you’re a business owner, what do you think about powerful, alternative promotional opportunities, like video, lots of photos, and an awesome story?

If you  write or have a camera, what do you think about a new venue to share your creativity?  What if an alternative paper could generate revenue so you could get paid for your work?

If you have publishing experience, what do you think about taking the reins of something really fun and awesome for our community?

And please, don’t be shy.  This is your community.  You contribute.  Your ideas, thoughts and feelings matter. You care about Northfield and you’ve come to realize it’s time to join a larger effort to share in our important, day-to-day stories.

On my end of the equation, I’ll keep writing, knowing there’s a bigger picture about local goings-on than my personal views.  My professional goal isn’t to write a vanity blog.  I just want something more for Northfield — something we can get excited about.  

So send me a note and click here to answer two simple questions:  https://surveynuts.com/surveys/take?id=101599&c=1478875061TPTV

Let’s talk — alternative news can bring a breath of fresh air to Northfield.  What do you think?







One thought on “A local alternative newspaper?”

  1. Hi Nate,

    I just became aware of the VPR article, “A Selectman Blogger In Northfield Is Bringing Town Issues to the People.”

    I’m sure the selectmen may feel that your overview of goings on there at meetings questions some of their judgement and control of the direction they would like to see the town moving to or staying like. They may take it as a threat to themselves. We know that is not the case and it would be good if they keep in mind that what you bring to light is not against them but a larger understanding and benefit to us as a whole. Lets reassure our selectboard that we appreciate their service. That we are not stepping on their toes. We want them to use us to best guide their judgement in making decisions that serve our community. The longer the affect a decision impacts us the more careful we need to proceed prior to a vote by the board. This requires asking any and all in-depth questions. Look at the details. That is where the problems can easily hide. Look at the bright side and then the dark side. What can be good and what can go wrong. We hope that we elect a board with a broad view of perspectives to cover all aspects of what challenges may/will come and that they all consider these points as guidance to the best decisions and outcomes. That being said, we should not believe that our whole town should vote on every little thing that comes down the pike. We would take forever to get things done. A four thousand member committee will slow progress in any direction to almost a halt. Lets elect a good broad based board and guide our board using what you bring to us through your blog and other sources.

    I’m not speaking from a political base. We all have our own ideas of what makes a society good and bad. What you are doing with your blog is just keeping us up to speed on the issues faced by our selectboard.
    If we all lived in the village we could watch the meetings on the local channel 7, if they still broadcast that. Many of us live away from cable access. Your blog brings these issues to us so we can be informed.

    I commend you on your work.


    Bill Allard


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