On the latest “What Works” podcast, Ellen Clegg and I talk with Nicci Kadilak, an educator, author, mom and founder of Burlington Buzz. The Buzz is a hyperlocal online news site serving Burlington, Massachusetts, a town of 26,000 people north and west of Boston. Kadilak created the Buzz in early 2022, when a town election was on the horizon and the local Gannett weekly, the Burlington Union, switched to regional coverage — and later ended its print edition altogether. In the 1980s, Burlington was covered by two weekly papers and The Daily Times Chronicle of Woburn, where I worked for quite a few years.
Nicci uses the Substack platform and charges a range of subscription fees. She offers news stories about town government, cultural events, sports, and has a section that provides a platform for audio interviews of newsmakers. She allows reader comments, too. Nicci also writes essays at Nicci’s Notes, and her debut novel, “When We Were Mothers,” is available wherever you buy books online. (Nicci, Ellen and Dan met in a Zoom discussion of local news led by Simon Owens for his informative Media Newsletter.)
By the way, the Buzz was just named one of 74 finalists for a Lion Independent Online News (LION) Publishers’ Local Journalism Award. Listeners of this podcast will notice a number of other familiar news organizations as well.
In our Quick Takes on developments in local news, I report on another effort to leverage tax credits for local journalism, and Ellen checks in on the decline and apparent death of the Santa Barbara News-Press.
You can listen to our conversation here and subscribe through your favorite podcast app.