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Newspapers at the BPL: Massachusetts News Industry

Newspaper resources at the Boston Public Library and beyond.

Local News Matters

Reading the local news is closely linked to civic engagement

Picture of man reading newspaper by Honore Daumierstudy by Gallup and the Knight Foundation exploring media trends shows this as summarized in this Medium article and shows why the future of journalism is so important to democracy. People who read and watch local news are more likely to take part in important community issues, and 81% are more likely to participate in local elections.

Massachusetts Newspaper History

  • The first American newspaper published in Massachusetts: Publick Occurrences on Sept 25, 1690
  • The oldest newspaper still being published in Massachusetts: Daily Hampshire Gazette which was founded in 1786 in Northampton
  • The first American newspaper to publish 7 days a week was the Boston Daily Globe, Oct. 30, 1832 (precursor to the current Boston Globe)

Local News Industry commentary

Keep up with the latest commentary and opinion in the local news landscape:

Massachusetts News Coverage

State of local newspapers in Massachusetts in 2023 from the Northwestern University Local News Initiative

The traditional newspaper industry is in crisis and locked in a struggle with digital media. The Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local News at the University of North Carolina gives an overview of the state of Massachusetts newspapers circa 2019 here in their News Deserts and Ghost Newspapers: Will Local News Survive project, including what newspapers still exist, where they are, who owns them.

Map of Massachusetts showing counties

Defunct Massachusetts Newspapers since 2000

Boston Phoenix, 1966 - 2013

Worcester Sun (May 2015 - 2018)  A subscription newspaper ($2/week) started by Mark Henderson and Fred Hurlbrink Jr.  

      Worcester Sun halts digital, print publicationsInterview with Mark Henderson  

     Worcester Sun masthead


List of Massachusetts newspapers that have closed or merged since 2004 compiled by the University of North Carolina, Hussman School of Journalism and Media

Local Journalism and News Associations

Massachusetts Newspaper Families

  • CNHI, LLC (formerly Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc) - Andover Townsman, Gloucester Daily Times, Haverhill Gazette, Newburyport Daily News, North Andover Eagle-Tribune and Salem News
  • Gatehouse Media - largest company in market, see link for list of titles. In addition to the print titles, runs the WickedLocal pages for numerous cities and towns.
  • Independent Newspaper Group - Beacon Hill Times, Boston Sun, Charlestown Patriot-Bridge, Chelsea Record, East Boston Times Free Press, Everett Independent, Jamaica Plain Gazette, Lynn Journal, Mission Hill Gazette, North End Regional Review, Revere Journal and Winthrop Transcript. 
  • Local Town Pages - one of the largest independently owned newspaper companies in Massachusetts.  Publishes 8 community newspapers in 10 towns in metrowest/metrosouth: Ashland, Franklin, Holliston, Hopedale, Medway & Millis, Natick, Norfolk & Wrentham, and Norwood
  • New England Newspapers, Inc -  The Berkshire Eagle, and 3 other New England newspapers 
  • Newspapers of New England, Inc.  -  Amherst Bulletin, Athol Daily News, Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton), Recorder (Greenfield), Valley Advocate (Northampton) and 3 other New Hampshire papers
  • Stonebridge Press -  Auburn News, Blackstone Valley Tribune, Charlton Villager, Southbridge Evening News, Spencer New Leader, Sturbridge Villager and Webster Times
  • Turley Publications - 12 newspapers serving 50 communites: Agawam Advertiser News, Barre Gazette, Chicopee Register, Country Journal (Hilltowns), Holyoke Sun, Journal Register (Palmer, Monson, Brimfield, Holland, Wales), Quaboag Current, Register (Ludlow & Indian Orchard), Sentinel (Belchertown, Granby & Amherst), South Hadley Town Reminder, Ware River News and Wilbraham Hampden Times.