This is the 13th edition of the Independent, which means we have now produced exactly one-quarter of a year’s worth of newspapers. It’s been fun, but we’ve had quite enough, thank you, so we’re quitting to do something else.
Just kidding. Sort of. A new newspaper, it turns out, is like a new baby. Acutely painful to launch into the world, indescribably exciting to see for the first time, and then insanely demanding to the point of utter exhaustion. Just when you think you’ve successfully put it to bed, it wakes up with a mystifying new problem. Goodbye sleep.
In spite of the chronic fatigue and a rather colicky subscription system, we’re pleased to see its overall development and the heartening welcome and generous gifts it has received from so many quarters. That gives us hope for its future, and for our collective future.
We quite consciously put a story about childbirth on the front page of our first issue, as both a symbolic and a concrete recognition of what we are trying to do with this paper and what we are all trying to do as a community: have a future. The challenges of birthing on the Outer Cape are increasingly reflected elsewhere, as young people wonder what kind of world they would be bringing children into and birth rates decline. And yet the urge to create, to nurture what is young and new, and to rebuild and preserve the world remains strong.
New Year’s is generally the week when local newspapers compile the “year in review,” summarizing its top stories. It’s a handy way to give the staff a break from actual reporting, and it happens at a time when there’s not much breaking news anyway. When I worked at the Banner, one of the year-in-review assignments was always to go over the roster of the year’s deaths.
Now I’m a big fan of obituaries, and it’s important to remember all those who have left us, but this particular assignment always depressed me, especially because there was no corresponding accounting of the year’s births. Let’s not forget that at this time of year we’re also looking ahead, resolving to do things a little better than we did before.
So one of our resolutions for 2020 is to keep track of all the babies in our towns, in honor of their arrival and our communities’ hopes for their lives here. There will be a new department in these pages: Indie births. And we offer this gift to the first-born Outer Cape baby of 2020: a Provincetown Independent onesie, size birth-to-3-months. Let us know when the blessed event has come, so we can let everyone else know, too.