The Weston Owl: National Newspaper Week
This week, October 2-8, is the celebration of National Newspaper Week. Yes, it exists–look it up.
As many of the Owl readers know, the Weston Owl was not ever intended to be the main news source for this town. When the page was started by me in January 2021, it was purely opinion-based and only the stories that I cared to cover. Since that time, the Weston Town Crier has discontinued its print edition, and moved its information fully online–and covers Weston less and less. We all have also discovered that the larger local media in Boston and Metrowest care mostly about Weston when we win our multitude of school prizes, blow other communities away with our real estate prices, or wear jeans to the country club.
Like it or not, outside of social media’s Weston Community Facebook page and tbe town official email and news site, the Weston Owl is the local news source. While this is gratifying in some ways, it was not what I planned. I myself am working through what this all means to me personally.
At the start, I had no intention of being anything other than subjective in my coverage, always seeking opportunities to quote favorite Monty Python or bad 80s movies, or interject new terms into Weston lexicon – Westicon? Westonians, Intersection of Doom, Weston Beach, Weston Bistro, JoSTice….the list goes on. As you all know, I love this town and its quirks, most of its residents and employees, and the 2000 acres of Conservation land (okay, tthe latter is my favorite). I always truly mean the “go ‘cats!” as directed to sports teams, academic successes, sustainable victories and everything that reflects the kindness and good deeds of Weston. We have a lot to give, and lots of us give it in volunteer time and money. As an example, last week’s WEEFC fundraising netted over $100,000 for educational enrichment programming for our town’s students. That is amazing.
Last week, I began the process of a site upgrade where my opinion pieces can be separated from objective town reporting and submissions. The event calendar will be upgraded–it is currently a beast to maintain. I get 5-7 emails a day asking for events to be posted—and many ask for them to be “Owl’d”–not just listed but embellished. Things are busy.
During this National Newspaper Week and the forseeable future, the Owl will deliver the news about your schools, community, sports teams, nonprofits and community organizations, churches and farmstands. It is news you simply will not find from any other source. That’s not ego–that is the way things are. As of right now, the Owl is the only regular source of local news in this town.
I would like to thank those who have contributed along the way–from my first subscriber Henry Stone, who continues to contribute monthly, to those who subscribe at amounts from $5-$20 a month, and the ones who have sent in biggeer one-off contributions. Not only will these amounts make the Owl better as I move to a more flexible and secure site, but they are in fact financial inspiration. As of now, I have no intention of seeking local or national advertising (haha, Nike, don’t be too sad) or locking content to only those who contribute. Things may change.
Donations and subscriptions can be made by venmo (@weston-owl) and Paypal. Think you’ve already donated but can’t remember? Send me an email and I am happy to tell you.
As always, ideas for stories can be sent to email@example.com. Please know that while the Owl would love to cover everything, time is limited (I also volunteer time with Weston Forest & Trail Association) and sometimes I simply cannot get to it. I try.