One year ago, I didn’t know what Patch was or that North Branford Patch was launching on Nov. 30, changing the way the people of North Branford and Northford not only get their news, but share what is going on in their lives and connect with each other.
Last year on Nov. 30, I was three days away from having my third baby and working as the sports editor for Shore Publishing Newspapers, a job that I enjoyed where I worked with wonderful people.
After I had Silas, I enjoyed my time “off” (anyone who has had a baby knows it’s no vacation!). Along the way, I heard about a position as editor of North Branford Patch, covering the town I grew up in.
What’s the Patch? And what’s it all about? I checked out the site, finding stories about town meetings and other local features. I was certainly intrigued.
In March and took the reigns of a young, little North Branford Patch. With lots of help and guidance from Branford Patch editor Nicole Ball, I started to learn the ropes (thanks Nicole!).
I jumped right in, branching out from my sports background to take on town politics, covering the Board of Education, responding to breaking news and more. When I talked to people in the community, I explained what Patch was over and over, spreading the word that this was the place to find out all you need to know about North Branford (and Northford!).
One Year of North Branford Patch
And today, North Branford Patch celebrates its first birthday. Over the past 12 months, more than 2,200 articles have been posted on the site. Even better, more and more people know what “The Patch” is and what it’s about.
You, as readers, have proven that there is a need for local news in North Branford, that people do care what is going on and that they are willing to help get the word out about things they care about.
A true highlight of the past year are the many ways you have contributed to North Branford Patch–through your feedback, comments, news tips and by and so that we are truly a digital message board, a platform for the community.
Perhaps the greatest thing I have gotten from this job is seeing the good in people. So often people look at media outlets and think they’re getting nothing but bad news.
In my nine months working in North Branford, I have seen the community come together over and over again to help each other. Whether it was ; a fundraiser for an NBHS alumni who was injured in an accident at ; for ; or something as simple as donating canned goods to the , the people in this town continue to give and support each other.
Covering these stories has been a truly humbling experience that has made me strive to be a better person. Thank you for sharing your stories with me.
There is no way Patch could be as successful as it is without the many people who contribute their amazing work. It is hard to express just how grateful I am for these contributions, but I thank you all for not only your hard work, but your friendship as well.
We have had some wonderful freelancers who have done some tremendous work including:
- Andrea Alexander, a , who recently started using the Local Voices platform to discuss the .
- James Boyle, who piloted a and also provided updates throughout .
- Emily Constance, who has done it all. She covers and , she now profiles interesting people in ‘’ and ‘’ and she even was guest editor of the site when I went on vacation.
- Doreen Currie, who is all over Patch. She , she features ‘’, she’s a member of !
- Jim Gangi, who returned to North Branford after college, started the ‘’ feature, which has proven to be quite popular.
- Paul Ramunni, who brought his real estate expertise to ‘’ and ‘.’
- Debbie St. Thomas, for her unending adaptability with ‘’
- Abbie Walston was North Branford Patch’s first blogger, entertaining us with her post “” among many others. She is also a .
Other bloggers, who have shared some of their passions with us include , , and ; while and share their parenting wisdom in Family Talk as part of our , which also included and .
I also have to thank my friends and family–especially my parents, sisters, Anna-Maria Lee and Tevis Brunson, who have helped me out many times by watching the kids when news came up. My husband and kids have also been wonderfully supportive and understanding that this is no 9 to 5 job! I love you all!
It has been an honor getting to know you. With your continued support and participation, North Branford Patch will continue to grow and be a vital part of the community. Thank you and I look forward to 2012!
I hope you can join me at this afternoon from 3 to 5 p.m. at to celebrate this milestone with .