Under a pilot program starting in September, the school will devote one of its beat reporting classes to covering the city of 90,000 residents for The Globe throughout the academic year.
While many regional news organizations continue to cut local coverage, this partnership with Boston University will allow the Globe to deepen its coverage of Newton and test whether this attracts and retains subscribers, which are business imperatives for long-term sustainability.
"Newton has long been among the Globe’s most loyal communities. This pilot will test if adding fresh voices with a digital-first approach helps us grow while fulfilling our civic role,” said Boston Globe Editor Brian McGrory. "We're thrilled to be working with Boston University to nurture the next generation of community journalists.”
"Newton is facing urgent and divisive issues around development and its schools as well as a hotly contested November election,” said Gail Spector, a longtime Newton journalist, former Newton TAB editor and author who will teach the BU class. “It’s an incredible opportunity for these students to dive into important issues as they continue their work in such an important field.”
The Globe will publish a weekly newsletter, host a dedicated section on bostonglobe.com, and publish both student stories and pieces from Boston Globe reporters beginning in early September.
“Like so many communities across the nation, Newton has suffered greatly from a loss of substantive news coverage,” said Newton-Needham Regional Chamber President Greg Reibman.“We’ve seen city leaders make monumental decisions, often without a reporter ever attending a single meeting or even one news article explaining or exploring its ramifications.
“This pilot project by the Globe and Boston University can go a long way in filling a significant void,” Reibman added.
As this new initiative gets underway, the Globe wants to hear from the community. To learn more about The Boston Globe’s coverage and lend your ideas, sign up for updates and share your thoughts go to globe.com/newtonreport.