The Cost of Talking Amongst Ourselves

By Ginni Spencer, Member, The Bedford Citizen Board of Directors

“A good newspaper…is a town talking to itself.”  I’m paraphrasing Arthur Miller here (which is a little thrilling if you want to know the truth) who was seeking to express the importance of public dialog generated by reliable reporting.  Will you donate in support of The Citizen’s spring fundraising drive to keep our local conversation going?

In June The Citizen will complete six years of publication.  Six years!  We are proud and delighted to have established our place in the Bedford landscape.  We might not yet be “iconic” in the sense that Bedford Farms, or Willson Park, or Pole Capping Day are but we are the recognized go-to for citizens looking for reliable information to inform local decision making and participation.

The fragile seeds we planted back in 2012 and nurtured so carefully have matured each year.  Take the extraordinary reporting we provided leading up to and during Town Meeting.  Each year we have been able to offer more information to enhance understanding of the Town Warrant so that voters can arrive at Town Meeting prepared.  This year was a blockbuster with links to prior stories related to particular articles and instructional videos on Town Meeting Process prepared by Bedford TV and local volunteers.

We earned kudos from Town Moderator Cathy Cordes who said, “Not only does The Citizen cover Committee and Board meetings all year long, it then compiles information that links to Warrant articles into an easy-to-access resource the week prior to Town Meeting.  Any voter looking for detail on articles need only look at The Citizen.  Everyone can come to Town Meeting ready to participate in the discussion and vote on an informed basis.”

And you know what?  We can do still more with your continued – and expanded – financial support.  Can we count on you?

Our mission is unchanged: objective, reliable information available free and online to inform and encourage citizen participation.  Ironically, the better we get at realizing this goal the more resources we need to meet your (and our) higher expectations.

Doing this successfully means increasing the number of paid writers to provide consistent coverage of town boards and committees; enhancing our website and making use of software to increase our efficiency and our reach, and expanding our offerings based on feedback from readers.  Although hard-working volunteers remain the heart of The Citizen (and sincere thanks to each and every one) we must also plan for the salaries and tools that will take us to the next level.

Ask your friends and neighbors in Bedford who may not know about The Citizen to subscribe.  (They can sign up at our website  Maybe you’d like to write for us – please contact Meredith McCulloch at [email protected].  Have an interesting photo of a local event?  Email Julie Turner, Managing Editor, [email protected]  Letters to the Editor are always welcome (using the contact form on our website, or our post office box as noted below.)

And please…DONATE online or by mail as noted below.  Every dollar you give supports local journalism, citizen engagement, and participation.  The cost of talking amongst ourselves is not prohibitive…but it isn’t free either.  Thank you so much!

The Bedford Citizen is a 501(c)3 corporation and all donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Donations may be made through the DONATE button on our website or by check payable to The Bedford Citizen, PO Box 212, Bedford, MA 01730.


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