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A Boost for Local Journalism in New Bedford

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The New Bedford Light will focus on deep-dive reporting and the arts.

Launched this week as an online news outlet, the New Bedford Light aims to fill a growing hole in local coverage as many traditional newspapers continue to lose revenue and shed staff.

Founding editor Barbara Roessner says the new outlet will specialize in deep-dive reporting. “We've decided to focus at least initially on where we think there's the biggest gap, and that's in-depth, explanatory and investigative stories about major issues from COVID, to race, to the wind industry, to education and environment.”

Roessner also hopes the New Bedford Light can serve as a hub for the city’s arts and culture scene. “We're looking to create a virtual gallery of visual and performing arts that pulls together different communities within the city,” she says.

The non-profit outlet relies on grants and donations. Roessner describes the New Bedford Light’s small team of journalists as “very talented, very passionate about the work, not getting paid a lot—yet. We're just making it happen.”

The team is working remotely now, but later this summer they plan to move into a newsroom in Kilburn Mill in New Bedford’s South End.