“The Shoestring was founded in 2017 and grew out of the need identified by our early writers and editors for accessible, fair, and accurate journalism in Western Massachusetts, unbeholden to advertisers and unafraid of offering a critique of the powerful in our region. We cover topics that we feel are overlooked in our region for fear of shedding light on conflicts or tensions, such as policing, municipal government, housing, education, labor, the environment, and culture. We may not get to every story first, but we like to offer a level of attention and analysis we feel is lacking in other local publications. And importantly, we believe that emerging local writers with a desire to cover the place they live are worth training and mentoring.

Over the past year, The Shoestring has reached out to our community for support in helping our historically scrappy organization plan for the future. At the top of our list of priorities is investing in the people who make our independent reporting possible. As such, the Markham Nathan Fund’s grant will directly support the local reporters and editors who bring Western Mass consistent, trustworthy news.” Brian Zayatz, The Shoestring