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UPDATED Nov. 1: YourArlington began as an experiment in community journalism dedicated to reporting news about Arlington, Mass., and the Arlington-related views of its residents. The experiment continues, but it is not unique -- it is part of a nationwide movement called "citizen journalism."

The phrase gained currency through We the Media, a 2004 book by Dan Gillmor. This kind of journalism encourages members of a community to write about that community. The writing may be reporting, or it may be opinion.  


YourArlington Site policies


Bob Sprague, 2017Bob Sprague, an Arlington resident since 1989, is the editor. He is a member of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce as well as LION Publishers, which stands for Local Independent Online News Publishers.

On Dec. 8, 2021, the site announced a significant change: It had become a nonprofit organization, recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) as eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. 

It no longer seeks advertising but encourages public support through individual donations, underwriting and grants. YourArlington controls what it publishes and remains independent of those providing donations.

Donate here >>

A board now guides the site, but it exercises no editorial control. Its members are Bob Sprague, president; chair/technology; Annie LaCourt, treasurer; Jim Concannon and Susan Webber. Sprague remains the editor and decides what is published. 

A series of town residents and others provide advice to the board. They are Marjorie Howard, Susan Gilbert, Judith Pfeffer, David Whitford, Steve Morgan, Jillian Harvey, Joseph Curro Jr., Clarissa Rowe, Barbara Thornton, Rose Udics, Lisa Pedulla, Eric Segal, Jim Gomes, Susan Ryan-Vollmar, Jingfei Cui, Edward Blundell, Kim Haase, Isla Jamieson, Christopher Wilbur, Adam MacNeill, Larry Slotnick, Matty Wasserman, Renee Abbott and Frederick Kalil.

Mission

YourArlington is a local news organization that publishes facts and opinions about Arlington, Mass. We aspire to the highest journalistic standards of accuracy, impartiality and fairness. Our aim is to bolster an engaged citizenry and so strengthen our community and democracy."

An interview with the publisher conducted by James Milan of ACMi was published Jan. 20, 2021:

The publisher encourages factual reporting, honest opinion and overall fair play. 

On this site, the public has a right to know the sources of information. Anonymous sources may be used in some cases, but when you post to this site, public should know your full name. Reach the editor at editor@yourarlington.com.

Credits

Writers most of whom received pay for their services since 2014:

Susan Gilbert reports about the Select Board, the arts and provides features.

Judith Pfeffer reports about Arlington Public Schools.

Three college interns are reporters: Jingfei Cui, Mattie Wasserman and Renee Abbott.

Isla Jamieson is the Arlington High School intern for fall 2022.

Frederick Kalil writes restaurant reviews.

Marjorie Howard, a former reporter for the Boston Herald and the publisher's wife, provides people features and is not paid.

Previous paid reporters were Melanie Gilbert of Arlington, who covered the housing authority; as well as these school reporters -- Julia Preszler, Northeastern student; Eileen O'Grady, Northeastern graduate student who now works at the Concord, N.H., Monitor; and Jo Anne Preston of Arlington, who also provided features.

Rebecca Braun, freelance general-assignment reporter.

Aileen Maroney, a freelance feature writer.

Susie Goldman, a freelance feature writer.

Jane Dornbusch, a restaurant reviewer. 

Earlier, Linda and Uri Guttman as well as Lori Uhland were paid reviewers.

Scott Samenfeld, who helped with site technology since 2006, as well as Karen Gruber, who helped with the database. Both are Arlington residents and were paid for some work.

Arlington residents who help this site as volunteers in the past are:

Barbara Goodman, a former Arlington School Committee member, and

various interns from Arlington High School.

From 2007 to 2012, various advanced students from the classes of Kim Eudenbach, a journalism teacher at Arlington High School, contributed to the site.

Benn Craig, an Arlington photographer, has contributed photographs to the site in the past.

Audrey L. Jenkins was a contributing reporter in April and May 2012.

Colin Campbell submitted weekly police reports from November 2008 until September 2010.

Publisher's resume >>

Some site history

The site launched Dec. 10, 2006, as a dot-com on open-source Joomla! 

In August 2007, Google ads were added. The ability for users to post comments was added that September. A new site template was activated in October 2007.

In 2008, the OpenX online-advertising system was installed. In February 2013, the site began using Joomla's FlexBanner and Broadstreet Ads after OpenX was hacked nationwide.

On June 9, 2008, the site was incorporated by its publisher in Massachusetts.

In May 2009, Your View, a new opinion site, was added. Since 2012, the site used has EasyBlog, which continues to be upgraded. YourArlington itself is not a blog, but the site includes a blog, where opinion is published.

Since 2009, YourArlington has been a news and advertising partner with hyperlocal sites Cambridge Day, which is actively maintained, and InsideMedford (until 2018; the site is no longer maintained).

On Jan. 14, 2010, Boston.com added Arlington to its Your Town links and began linking to YourArlington stories. In 2015, Boston.com abandoned its hyperlocal effort, but YourArlington's connection to The Boston Globe continues.

On Sept. 8, 2012, the site upgraded to Joomla! platform 2.5, and made public a new site design. 

YourArlington moved to a new host, SiteGround, in September 2013. A revamped site template, created with Artisteer, was updated Feb. 3, 2013. A mobile template was activated March 7, 2013.

A new mobile-ready, responsive-design template was activated July 7, 2014, in concert Joomla platform.

In June 2016, YourArlington signed a contract to have Broadstreet Ads deliver advertising content. The New Jersey company offers more than 100 options to advertising, including an automated Facebook feed. That contract ended Sept. 1, 2021.

Since 2016, the site has used AcyMailing to deliver its weekly newsletter.

In 2018, Steve Poltorzycki, an Arlington resident writes about what he sells -- local real estate -- began his column, Real Estate Corner.

In April 2019, a new mobile-friendly template with a revamped site logo and design friom Mitzi Gilbert of MSG Design were added. After that, the site began taking donations.

On Dec. 8, 2021, the site announced that it had become a nonprofit organization and had begun making design changes, which are to continue in 2022.

As of Feb. 7, 2022, the site's newsletter, published every Wednesday, has 521 subscribers. Sign up using the button on the upper right column under "Wednesday update."

Those who would like to help with the site should inquire. If others volunteer, the photo above could become smaller, and other photos may be added, making the site a better representation of "us."


        This account was published in December 2006 and updated Nov. 1, 2022, to add links to site policies. and Nov. 1, to update the names of board members.