Susan Canfora: The Independent begins fourth year

This week, the Salisbury Independent begins its fourth year.

I remember texting Greg Bassett, who I have known since around 1987 when we first worked together and who had the ambitious idea of starting a new publication, as I walked my dog in the spring of 2014.

“If you need a writer, let me know,” I typed on my phone.

He did.

A few days later we met and discussed details.

It could be that only a couple of ink-stained news reporters like us would pursue the idea in a recovering economy and with the threat of print news becoming extinct. But everything fell into place with Independent Newsmedia Inc. and we published the first issue in May that year.

To our delight, the public has embraced the Salisbury Independent. It has been honored and awarded by Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce.

Readers are loyal. They express interest and suggest ideas for articles.

In our in-house ads, we refer to ourselves as watchdogs with manners, and that’s how we approach every story, never forgetting the community spirit that is rooted in generations of Salisburians and permeates the town during its impressive renaissance.

Of course, every journalist also has to report bad news like crime and accidents. We don’t shy away from it, but remain fair, knowing fairness is a hallmark of our career.

“It’s always possible for a professional journalist who understands what he or she’s up to, to be fair, and that’s the key word,” journalist Jim Lehrer once said.

“Fairness to individuals, fairness to ideas, and to issues and whatever — that is critical, and that is also part and parcel of what the job is,” he said.

During the past three years, we have built relationships with city and county officials, attended meetings, photographed children, covered events, gone into the schools, pored over budgets and planning documents, followed continuing stories and documented them as they have unfolded.

Some days are long. Most are stressful. But one of the greatest blessings in my life is that I love my career, really enjoy every headline, deadline, byline, cutline and dateline. As Walter Cronkite once said, “There’s no story that breaks, including a five-alarm fire in Brooklyn, that I don’t wish I were covering.”

As our fourth begins, Publisher Darel La Prade, Advertising expert Cathy Koyanagi, Circulation Manager Karen Harrity, Greg and I continue to be invested in bringing the community the finest publication possible.

We thank you for your support. Here’s to a fresh year, and many more.


As your community newspaper, we are committed to making Salisbury a better place. You can help support our mission by making a voluntary contribution to the newspaper.
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