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Newton to get second online news source next month, with two reporters who actually know the Garden City

The Newton Beacon, spearheaded by a group of people tired of non-coverage by Gannett's Newton non-site (the main story on which today is about restoration of an old house in Manomet), says it will begin publishing its first news items in mid-January - starting with coverage of three Proposition 2 1/2 overrides proposed by Mayor Ruthanne Fuller.

The site, formally owned by a non-profit group, will start with coverage by two reporters who already know the city: Gail Spector, who worked as editor of the local Tab for six years and who most recently led a group of Boston University journalism students in covering Newton for the Globe, and Dan Atkinson, who worked as a Tab reporter and who currently teaches journalism at Lasell.

In e-mail to people interested in the idea today, organizers add:

Pending the success of a soon-to-be-launched fundraising campaign, we expect to begin full news coverage with a permanent reporting staff shortly after the conclusion of the override vote in the spring.

The Newton Beacon's board of directors include former School Committee members Matt Hills and Anne Larner.

In addition to the online equivalent of dust that's all that's left of the Tab, the Beacon's competition includes Fig City News, started by former City Councilor Amy Sangiolo.



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Including the former School Committee chair who wants to sock it to the teacher's union.

Voting closed 11

But everybody in the news biz has an agenda. Don't kid yourself.

Voting closed 9

If "helping the public to be informed" is an agenda, then yes you are right. There are more news outlets WITHOUT an agenda, than ones with a clear ulterior focus.

Voting closed 4

You realize that the choice as to what they inform you about is a key element of their agenda.

I’ve got no personal interest in Newton Public Schools, but I could easily see a media outlet running a series of “the schools are wasting our tax dollars” and another claiming that the schools are badly underfunded.

Voting closed 4