A Candid Assessment of the State of Local News

WHAV Building, 30 How St., Haverhill. Home of the Edwin V. Johnson Newsroom. (WHAV News photograph.)

I’m going to frank with you. WHAV would normally be starting its fall fundraising campaign this week, but we’ve had to have all hands on deck to cover news from carjackings to a gubernatorial visit and the opening of a school container farm to updates on the most consequential local election in the city’s history.

Let’s be clear, nonprofit WHAV is a multimedia operation. This means staff not only are conducting interviews and attending newsmaking events, but also recording and editing sound for the radio and podcasts and taking photographs for the web, social media and eNewspaper Wavelengths. WHAV also has to equip and maintain downtown studios as well as the Silver Hill transmitting facilities, ensure audio streams online 24-7 and more.

Every day, I hear people complaining about how so little news appears elsewhere and how much they pay for that. Often times, these are the same people who browbeat WHAV to cover their businesses or events, but don’t underwrite programs, take a personal membership subscription or make a donation. Others are content to be willfully ignorant—not following any local news at all—but still go on social media to complain about taxes, schools and construction and spout reckless half-truths.

If you believe this community needs a local news service and that information should be freely available to everyone, begin your membership here if you’re not already a donor or tell your friends, family and neighbors to become subscribers and suggest your employer underwrite the news. WHAV, Greater Haverhill’s only public radio station and nonprofit local news service, receives no government grants or cable television fees.

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