PLYMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS — In addition to being the landing point of the Mayflower, the birthplace of Thanksgiving, and the home of a notorious rock, Plymouth, Mass. also houses the seaside village of Manomet, a neighborhood within Plymouth proper. Online news source The Manomet Current hopes to provide hyperlocal news for both Manomet and neighboring Pinehills. The site’s stated goal is to “tell you what’s happening in our community, accurately, quickly and in-depth.”
- Read more about The Manomet Current
Plymouth resident Matthew Nadler originally worked as a copy editor for the Memorial Press Group, a company that published several weeklies on and along the South Shore of Boston. The company was absorbed by national newspaper chain GateHouse Media in 2006, and Nadler was promoted to editor. In this capacity he ran the Halifax Reporter, Duxbury Reporter, and Pembroke Reporter, all newspapers formerly under the MPG banner. Nadler was laid off in February of 2011, and founded the Current the following month.
“I had been kicking around the idea of doing something like this, and once I lost my job I saw it as an opportunity to try something that I had been thinking about,” he recalls. Cutbacks at area newspapers such as Plymouth’s Old Colony Memorial lessened coverage of both Manomet and Pinehills, providing Nadler another incentive. The communities boast a combined 14,000 residents, though the populations are somewhat disparate, with Pinehills consisting mostly of retirees and Manomet of middle class families.
Nadler describes the Current’s coverage as “real nuts and bolts stuff… events, activities, what’s going on in the schools. It’s aimed to be a community news site.” Nadler regularly attends town meetings, and the site has taken a particular interest in the nuclear power plant just north of Manomet. Nadler frequently attends meetings of the Nuclear Matters Committee, and reports on any developments that he deems relevant—an important service for a community with a nuclear power plant in its backyard. Nadler also regularly attends meetings of the Manomet Steering Committee, an entity created by the town to act as an advisory board on development projects in Manomet.
For now, the Current is a one man show. Nadler performs all editorial and reporting duties, and all business tasks as well. He updates the site roughly five times a day, does some aggregation, and enlists a local high school student to help with some sports writing. As the site grows, Nadler is open to the possibility of signing an ad rep as well as building a larger team of volunteer contributors.
The site hosts some Google AdSense inventory, but Nadler is working to sell more ads to local businesses. The site currently charges a basic ad rate of $15 a week for an approximately 2.5 by 1 inch space. Nadler cites the The Batavian’s Howard Owens as an influence, hoping to emulate the online news publisher’s high-volume approach to local advertising. The site operates as a limited liability corporation.
When asked about the stories that have made the biggest splash, Nadler says breaking big stories matters less than a more historical perspective on the news. Take the Village Steering Committee, for example. “Those matters start at that level where no one is paying attention, and then they rise to the surface a year later at the town level. Being there at the beginning of the process is very helpful for residents.” Nadler hopes that this contextualized approach to small town news will distinguish his site among both readers and advertisers.
The Manomet Current Data
Name: The Manomet Current
Principal Staff: Matthew Nadler, editor and publisher.
CMS: MovableType - Typepad, Custom System.