FROM THE FOUNDERS: Strong community requires hyper-focused newspaper

When did you first feel that Marblehead’s longtime weekly newspaper had shifted away from its super-local focus?

For me, it was when Tri-Town real estate ads seemed more prevalent than Marblehead real estate listings. And when there was a review of a Haverhill restaurant but nothing about Marblehead’s dining offerings. But especially, it was when I realized I knew very little about what was happening right here in our own town.

While — theoretically — we all know the value of local reporting, perhaps many of us didn’t truly appreciate how the lack of local journalism would impact our sense of community and our spirit of local democracy.

It’s absolutely genius that our nation’s Founding Fathers embedded freedom of the press into the First Amendment of the Constitution, that they so clearly understood that accurate information affects our voting decisions and, thereby, our democracy.

Local democracy also relies on our sense of community, on our knowing each other and understanding each other’s needs, wants and points of view. Knowing and understanding each other is the foundation for caring about each other and for building a strong community.

Two of the founding principles of The Marblehead Current are accurate, fair, hyper-focused Marblehead reporting to (1) contribute to an informed electorate and (2) to strengthen our sense of community.

In its first year, it’s been rewarding to hear praise for The Current’s excellent reporting and commitment to outstanding journalism. It’s also been meaningful that so many of Marblehead’s excellent writers, thought-leaders, experts, historians and newcomers to town are sharing their ideas, insights and observations by contributing letters to the editor, articles, columns and news releases — giving us all a special opportunity to know each other better and to enrich the Marblehead community. More than we had hoped or expected, the Marblehead Current is not only a reliable news source, it has also become an important forum for sharing ideas.

In that spirit of building community and connections, the Current has also served as the presenting partner of the Festival of Arts, promoted reading in cooperation with Saltwater Books, celebrated teachers and helped us celebrate the ones we love. The Current has kept us informed through its Town Meeting Guide, Election Guide and overall coverage of the town.

In this first year, The Current itself has been guided by those two primary founding principles.

Now, we’re eager to show what we can do in year two. But for that, we need another kind of contributor — financial contributors.

As a nonprofit that values news for people over profits, we do rely on financial support from the community.

We ask you to be a financial contributor to the Current in any amount either by sending a check made out to “The Marblehead Current” to 217 Humphrey St., Marblehead, MA 01945; by clicking through the QR code in our newspaper edition or by clicking on “Donate” at

Let us show you what we can do in year two. We can’t do it without you.

Jessica Barnett
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