Note: This program has already taken place. Please join us on Jan. 4, 2022 for our next event.

As newspapers have undergone deep staff cuts and reduced coverage of local news, nontraditional hyperlocal news and information platforms have been launched to try to fill the gap.

Two of the community-minded online news sources that cover Central Massachusetts include local subsidiaries of veteran entity Patch, and hyperlocal newcomer Central Mass Town Square. In addition to a focus on area goings-on, each of these outlets offers a form of “ownership” to readers by encouraging their participation in news-gathering, event listings and opinion pieces.

The Communicators Club will provide insight into these upstarts’ missions and methods when we welcome three of their employees to a Zoom panel from noon to 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 7.

Our guest speakers include Patch staff writer Neal McNamara, a regional editor for sites in the Worcester and MetroWest areas. Town Square’s story will be told by correspondent Monica Sager and Editor Ken Brown. (McNamara and Sager are shown in the graphic above.)

A $10 fee covers the discussion and post-presentation Q&A session.

Founded in 2007, Patch runs 1,259 community news sites across all 50 states, including 87 in Massachusetts. Its sites provide hyperlocal news and human interest stories, and also offer users a platform for posting questions, news tips and columns about their communities.

Focused primarily on Eastern Mass., individual Patch sites also cover Worcester, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Northborough, Westborough and Westford.

Central Mass Town Square, which was birthed in April 2021, is a subscription-based, $5-a-month model dedicated to reporting — and soliciting — positive news about area communities. Its tagline is “All Local. All Good.”

Its website states: “Town Square is a different kind of news site. Our mission is to tell the stories of what’s good in a community, to focus locally, and to bring people together around a common set of experiences and positive stories.”

Patch’s McNamara previously covered the Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, areas for the platform. He began his news career in 2005 at the New Haven (Conn.) Register, and later covered Michigan’s capital city for the Lansing City Pulse.

Pennsylvania native Sager is a Worcester-based Community Correspondent for Central Mass Town Square. Her work also has been published in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, The Week UK,, The Forward, and The Boston Globe. She hosts the Campus Hunger Project Podcast, which takes a deeper look into food insecurity on college campuses throughout the United States.

We’ll provide more information on Brown as it becomes available. Please register today by clicking the button above!