Nearly two years ago, Gannett merged the Medford Transcript and the Somerville Journal into one weekly paper called The Transcript & Journal. Even worse, nearly all local news was removed from the new paper, replaced with regional news from elsewhere in the chain.
In Medford, where I live, we now have nothing, although I’m optimistic that will change in the near future. In Somerville, though, there were several alternatives, foremost among them the weekly Somerville Times and a digital outlet called the Somerville Wire. Unfortunately, the Wire is shutting down. Jason Pramas, the editor, writes that the Wire got to be too much of a financial burden as well as a drain on his other work with the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism (BINJ) and HorizonMass. (Pramas talked about both of those projects in a recent appearance on the “What Works” podcast.)
Besides, Pramas notes that Somerville has been getting more coverage lately, as the Cambridge Day has expanded into the city and The Boston Globe has begun a weekly “Camberville & beyond” newsletter. Pramas writes that “while Somerville is still in danger of becoming a ‘news desert’ (a community that no longer has a professionally-produced news outlet covering it), it’s now getting more news coverage than it was in 2021,” when the Wire launched.
Pramas and his colleagues Chris Faraone and John Loftus continue to do good and important work, and I wish them all the best.