An independent, nonprofit news organization is coming to Plymouth.

The Plymouth Independent is soon to launch. We are an independent nonprofit news organization staffed by experienced professional journalists. And conceived by a group of local citizens who are deeply concerned that this town of nearly 70,000 has no reliable source of news.

Why now? Plymouth, one of the country’s most historic communities, is in the midst of a news desert. Across the country, more than 1,000 daily and weekly papers have shut their doors. A greater number of communities, Plymouth among them, have so-called ‘ghost’ newspapers. These papers publish, but their staffs have been so thinned out by their faraway corporate owners that they no longer pretend to do serious journalism.

The impact of these changes has been dispiriting. Local journalism that matters has all but vanished. Residents have nowhere to turn to learn what Plymouth’s government is doing for them – or to them. There is no one to hold powerful people and institutions accountable. Civic engagement is in a downward spiral. So too is voter participation. When the public is ill-informed, we cannot pretend to have a healthy democracy. In many other communities in similar straits, public corruption, unchecked by journalism’s watchdogs, is on the rise.

What are we doing about it? We have incorporated in Massachusetts as the Plymouth Rock Publishing Corp. We are designing a website and creating a sustainable business plan. We have begun the process of hiring an experienced editor and reporters committed to nonpartisan, thorough and fairly reported enterprise and investigative reporting.

When we begin publishing later this year, the Plymouth Independent will dig deeply into issues that affect the quality of life for all of us – issues that include education, the environment, public safety, development, town and county spending decisions, and Plymouth’s vibrant arts and culture scene. Our goal is to promote transparency, accountability and community engagement through reliable, fact-based reporting.

What can you do to help? We are convinced that our concerns are widely shared in Plymouth, and that many will want to support this important undertaking. Like NPR and PBS, our journalism will be supported by you, fellow Plymouth citizens who care about our shared future.

Please help us get started by making a tax-deductible donation and signing up for our email updates. Thank you for caring about our community.

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