Last night, after a beautiful memorial service for our city's first poet laureate, Susan Allison, a few friends and neighbors gathered at Eli Cannon's. At that meeting, one of the founders of the Middletown Eye, Jen Alexander, said we needed to toast the Middletown Eye on it's tenth anniversary. Sure enough, yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the very first post. Here's what we said then.
Here's Looking At You
Welcome to the Middletown Eye.
Increasingly local media is failing the municipalities and communities they cover. Corporate ownership has drained valuable dollars from the local papers, leaving them to scramble for coverage. It's not through any fault of reporters, it's through lack of reporters because the corporate parent believes more in advertising than editorial content. No single reporter can be at any one meeting.
Think of Middletown. Forty-two square miles. An active Police Department. Municipal meetings nearly every night. Cultural performances galore. Sports at many amateur levels. There's no way that even a handful of reporters can do the town justice.
But what if we become the reporters - those of us who go to the meetings, and concerts, ballgames and social events. With a digital camera, an audio recorder and a laptop, we might be able to do a far better job than the newspapers ever could.
So that's the idea. A blog devoted to our town, and written by its residents. Imagine what might happen if there were a set of Middletown eyes at every significant (and maybe insignificant) event.
Of course, we need volunteer correspondents. More on that in a later post. For now, think about what you would have liked the newspaper to report at the PTA meeting, and then consider how you could write it to get the most important points made.
Consider it your Eye, and your point of view.
Over those ten years, we've tried to keep you aware of issues in Middletown in a way other media outlets couldn't and didn't.
While we don't publish as regularly as we did then, we think we are still a source to which people turn when they want a perspective that is clear, honest, opinionated and not necessarily constrained by the demands of advertisers, or access.
The days fly by. And looking back on these posts, it's been an interesting decade. With what's to come, we still invite you to contribute, and crowdsource this newsource for the city.