On a Sunday in December, I sat down with Scout’s first ever editor-in-chief Ilan Mochari at Forge Baking Company to ask him some questions about his time at the magazine. Back then, it was just Scout Somerville. At the time, print was going digital, paywalls were going up, and “hyperlocal” was a hardly used term. And yet, Scout Somerville was still created. A few years later, against all odds, it expanded into a second free print magazine—Scout Cambridge.
My favorite thing about Scout is that it is an anomaly. If you were to walk into any journalism class or newsroom and begin speaking about a free, independent, hyperlocal news magazine created and run by a woman, with a mostly women writing team, you could easily be laughed out of the room. But Scout persists.
At a certain point during my conversation with Ilan, I became very emotional listening to him explain why he loved his time at Scout. Specifically, when he said that at Scout, he did not speak to companies through public relations professionals—he spoke to people. This continues to be one of our priorities, despite all of the time that has passed. Amplifying the voices of the community by focusing our reporting on local issues is still Scout’s mission.
So much has changed in the past decade. This issue, we decided to talk about some of those changes. The developer Scape moved into Davis Square, leaving many wondering about the future of their businesses (p. 14); the restaurant scene experienced a complete overhaul (p. 30); Scout’s operation became something entirely new (p. 28).
Others have delightfully stayed the same. For example, the reenactment of the first flag raising of Somerville still happens every year on New Year’s day (p. 20).
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is telling people where I work, and being met with the response, “I love Scout! I read every issue.” It’s not the recognition that excites me. It’s the confirmation that we are making good on our promise to be a part of the conversation.
I would like to extend my personal thank you to all of our supporters. In an uncertain media landscape where publications are closing their doors every day, you are what makes this possible. We still have a lot to figure out if we’re going to stick around, but as long as you are here, so are we. Here’s to another ten years.