The Provincetown Independent is Outer Cape Cod’s only locally owned newspaper. We launched with the mission of rebuilding our community’s capacity to report and produce real community news. Every Thursday, we publish stories for and about the people who live and work in Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, and Eastham, and those who love this place from afar.
We believe good homegrown news can bring you closer to your neighbors and to this outermost community. We want to celebrate all that is good here, in a place that’s proud of its tradition of welcoming separatists and strangers. But we also examine the challenges we face on the far end of this sandbar.
The Provincetown Independent is part of a growing movement to defend journalism at the grassroots. And we are grateful to be in a community that sees that having our own newspaper does matter. Please keep in touch with us as we grow and pursue these ideals. You can contact us by clicking this link.
— Teresa Parker, Publisher and Ed Miller, Editor
The people of the Independent are devoted to producing truth-seeking reporting on our towns, community organizations, the arts, science and the environment, health and health care, education, children, family life, LGBTQ community concerns, fishing and farming, the local economy, and the unique and sometimes eccentric culture of this place. Meet our team here.
We are also grateful for the perspectives and creative talents of a diverse group of freelance correspondents. When you pick up the paper, don’t forget to have a look at the masthead on page two, where we list the names of our contributors to the current issue.
Join the Independent’s team of smart and creative people who are helping bring back local journalism here.Check out Indie job opportunities here.
How You Can Help
Become an owner
We are a Massachusetts Benefit Corporation, which means we are a company committed to prioritizing the social and environmental benefits of our work. We are hugely grateful to a small group of investors who have enabled us to launch the Independent. They are listed in our Benefit Report. Our 2019 report is posted here.
The next step is to raise the second half of our start up capital. Our idea is to develop broad community ownership of the Independent as a way of guaranteeing our long-term sustainability and responsiveness to the needs and interests of our readers. We hope many readers will join in and share ownership! Stay tuned for our “Direct Public Offering” in the fall of 2021.
Support Our Nonprofit Project
The purpose of our nonprofit initiative, called the Local Journalism Project, is to educate our community about the importance of local journalism, deepen people’s engagement in civic life here, and nurture aspiring journalists. We organize events, take on special in-depth reporting projects on community priority issues, and offer fellowships and workshops for aspiring journalists. Click the “Give” button to support us.
Donations are tax deductible. The Center for the Study of Public Policy, a Massachusetts tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, serving as our fiscal sponsor while we complete our application for recognition of our own nonprofit status.
Readers are our reason for being. If you’ve been browsing, we hope you’ll make the leap and sign up. Here’s where to do that.
An ad in our pages is a great way to connect with people in this special place. And when you advertise in the Independent, your dollars stay here in the community, working to rebuild local journalism. We thank the local businesses who are in our pages. Here’s how to join them.
Let’s turn the tide for local journalism
Why would anyone start a new newspaper when we keep reading about the death of local journalism? Researchers are busy mapping America’s growing “news deserts.” We are studying those dynamics so that we can make good choices about how to become sustainable.
Newspapers are not as profitable as they were in pre-internet years. Facebook and Google have eaten up a big chunk of the industry’s advertising revenues — income that made newspapers profitable in the past, and kept subscription prices low.
But that’s not the whole story. There has been tremendous consolidation of news organizations in recent years, too, and with that, pressure to reach impossibly inflated profit targets. Deep cost cutting has followed. Left without the resources to do good reporting, pursue relevant stories, follow up, and listen well, many newspapers have disappointed their readers. Apathy about the importance of journalism has been a result.
The good news is that we have been talking to local newspaper publishers across the country who are succeeding, especially at community-focused weeklies. Their stories have encouraged us to believe that, instead of worrying, we could do something to turn the tide.
Having a good local newspaper turns out to be good for everyone, because research shows that in communities where local newspapers have closed people don’t understand each other as well, and their views become more polarized. Where there is less news coverage, fewer people vote. In towns without newspapers, bond ratings drop and borrowing costs go up.
We’re not about to let that happen here. There’s real joy in this, because a newspaper is, after all, a community’s way of seeking the true stories of itself. Having a good one will keep us all learning, connected, and ready for the next generation.
We are thankful to have advice from journalists like Dick Meyer, David W. Dunlap, Bob Kuttner, Dan Okrent, Jodi Kantor, Ron Lieber, Ed Maroney, and Bill Hough, who inspire us in so many ways.
We are grateful for your encouragement, and look forward to your questions and involvement.