Celebrate with us

One year ago, we announced a vision to create the Athens County Independent. If we’d known how hard it would be, we might’ve thought twice. Just kidding! (Sort of. Seriously, there are days when I think I should’ve just started a crafts business.)  

This community embraced the idea: More than 300 people donated over $18,000 for us to launch the Independent. The average gift was $50. 

One year later, we’ve begun to deliver on that vision. And while there have been setbacks and bumps in the road, I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished. The local news alternative we’ve developed — which a source recently referred to as “the new go-to news source in Athens County” — would not be possible without each member of our team, and without each of you: our community, our supporters, and our readers.


Here are some of our greatest accomplishments so far, as I see them:

  • As of today, we have published over 90 stories and bulletins. Our coverage has featured the people who make Athens County such an incredible place to live; shined a light on local corruption; and delivered the public information you need to participate in civic and social life in Athens County.
  • We recently begun publishing obituaries for free. 
  • Since we started publishing, we have nearly doubled our mailing list of community members to over 1,000 people who look forward to our coverage every week.
  • The possum! We know it’s polarizing, but we love it (and even if you’re not a fan, at least it’s memorable). Stay tuned as we prepare to announce its name soon!

Journalists frequently deal with humanity’s darker impulses, so much so that it’s easy to become cynical. From this side of the desk, the beauty of nonprofit, community-sponsored journalism is that good — such as your support and encouragement — more than balances the uglier parts of the work. When we’re tired or frustrated by the challenges of building a startup newsroom, all we have to do is think about how far we’ve come … and the many people who have made it possible. Thank you!

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