Letter from the Editor: Local reporters part of the heartbeat of our communities – please consider supporting their work

The foundation of any company starts with the people who drive it and give it personality every day.

Part of my job as the Vice President of Content at MassLive is to build and lead a team that is the heartbeat of that personality.

Brand for me always starts with people, and I am blessed to work with a group of talented colleagues who bring passion to the work they do, are balanced and fair, and who are committed to making our communities a better place to live.

There are many questions I ask myself when making decisions for my team, particularly as we all navigate the complexities of this year. When readers think about MassLive, do they feel that the work my team of journalists do every day provides value? Does the information we publish on MassLive and our social channels improve our communities? How are we helping to keep people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic? Does our content help readers be more informed citizens and voters in a contentious election year? Do we entertain and make them laugh during a year when it can be hard to find humor?

I can say with confidence that my team shows dedication to answering those questions affirmatively every day. In the past few months alone their work has had a clear and positive impact.

In Western Mass., Meredith Perri, MassLive’s High School Sports Editor, was recently named to the prestigious 2020-21 Association for Women in Sports Media Champions class. Perri is one of just five rising stars in this year’s Champions class and will be paired with mentors Alisha Miller from ESPN and Orlando Sentinel sports editor Iliana Limón Romero.

Meredith Perri

MassLive High School sports editor Meredith Perri

“The Association for Women in Sports Media has been a part of my life for nearly a decade. I am grateful for the support they have given me thus far and beyond excited for this opportunity to grow as an editor,” said Perri. “I look forward to working with a terrific mentor and bringing back what I learn to MassLive over the next year.”

Beyond leading MassLive’s excellent high school coverage, Perri gives back to the community, serving as Vice President of Marketing & Strategy for the Springfield’s Young Professional Society’s board of directors and on Hampden County Community Impact Foundation’s board. There simply aren’t enough women in editing in our business, particularly in sports, but Perri is one of the best anywhere in the country.

In Worcester, managing producer Scott Croteau helps lead our team while also being one of the best crime and court reporters in the state. Crime coverage can be exhausting, but Croteau says he strives to help families find justice and give their loved ones a voice. Croteau has spent 20 years developing sources in Worcester County and across the state and regularly breaks big news. He also has a knack for telling the human story behind the crimes he covers, showing the humanity and love victims shared with family and friends in life. Recently, Croteau used this talent to tell the story of Joshua Lopez, who lost his life in a July 4 shooting but was remembered as a son who loved to hug his mother when he visited, and a brother who painted for his sister. His last act was to donate his organs.

Scott Croteau social card

Scott Croteau

Also in Worcester, Melissa Hanson covers a number of topics as one of our most versatile reporters, but no matter what she is writing about, Hanson is always concerned about issues of equity. She consistently ensures the voices that too often aren’t heard in the media – women, people of color and millennials – are represented in her reporting. Recent highlights include a story on Worcester public school students sharing stories of prejudice and inequality via Instagram and cannabis industry business applicants calling for more equity in the industry.

All of our staffers live and work in your communities, from Springfield to Worcester, Northampton to Northborough. We all seek to answer the questions I posed at the top of my letter, and strive to continue to do so for time to come. But we can’t do that without our community’s support.

Over the past month I’ve asked several of MassLive’s reporters to tell their personal stories of why they’ve chosen to work in journalism as a way to encourage readers to subscribe to MassLive to help support their work.

Every subscription makes a difference, particularly with the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses across Massachusetts, so if you believe our work helps inform and provides value I’d ask that you consider a voluntary subscription today at $10 per month.

Supporting local journalists in your community means that we can continue highlighting our local high school student-athletes, breaking news that matters to you ahead of our competitors, and giving voice to those that need it most to help ensure equity in our communities. Please help us continue to deliver quality local journalism across Massachusetts.

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