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New Bedford Now: Coastin’ expands its reach

Standard-Times editor, Beth Perdue announces a new vision for Coastin’ during a meeting at the newspaper’s Elm Street headquarters in New Bedford on Wed. June 27, 2018.

Most of us probably aren’t accustomed to hearing good news from the daily newspaper industry. Since the advent of the Internet era through the ascent of social media era, it seems like it’s been an unrelenting story of economic decline which in turn has meant less relevance for the municipal institutions which help define their cities like almost no other civic entity.

Yet, so many of us recently have become all too aware of just how important independent news sources are to our local and national sense of society. Just maybe, dailies won’t go entirely the way vinyl records once did before they are appreciated for their superior ability to enable to us to hear beyond the echo chamber.

As in many industries, this is going to entail innovation. A seizing of the fertile opportunities new technology can provide rather than its incessant challenges.

Coastin’ “blows up”!

The Standard-Times – to many now – took a giant step forward into the future this week when it announced a new, regional platform and game plan for its arts and cultural coverage: A joining of forces between itself and Fall River’s Herald News, which will define the entire South Coast area as a regional destination in Massachusetts and for New England.

That platform is Coastin’ – the weekly insert that appears every Thursday within The Standard-Times in print. As the importance of the region’s arts and culture community and economy has surged, so to has the need for a resource dedicated to properly communicating that story to readers, patrons and consumers.

Arts groups expressed this to editors at the newspaper during a 2016 meeting – and they listened.

The Coastin’ website has been upgraded and will include all the stories you expect to see – and others that offer a wider look at the world around us everyday. and will become a pan-regional portal into the arts and culture scene.

Start spreading the news…

Many readers of this blog probably know that I write a weekly column for Coastin’ called State of the Arts. It is and will always be focused on New Bedford. That won’t change – but what will change is the number of people who will now get to read the column and learn about the amazing efforts of the city’s creative folks. That’s exciting.

For Fall River, it mean the Herald News will rebrand its print entertainment section as Coastin’ – and get in on the fun New Bedford has been enjoying for many years now. However, editorial in each printed edition will most often be unique to each city.

But by seizing the chance to bind the region together in one powerful brand, the editors of both newspapers are recognizing the promise of scaling up – while doubling down on what’s making South Coast soar.

That would be its unique cultural identity – which is finally being recognized as a powerful force for progressive industry and progress across all sectors of society.

In this week’s Coastin’ – on newsstands now and on the revamped website today – I write about the lessons New Bedford has learned by learning to collaborate as a creative economy. You can read that column here  – and now, so can people from Seekonk to Wareham.

That’s a good thing – because as detailed in the story, the city is leading the way in such a way that other communities can learn from its example. That enriches the entire region – and circles back to empower its hub, the City of New Bedford.

A story of innovation and purpose

As constantly chronicled on this blog and in the pages of The Standard-Times and online at, the story of this city is no longer one of decline – but one of renewal. Now, that’s being reflected and mobilized in a positive way to uplift the entire region – through innovation and purpose.

Like effective collaboration, change in the means and methods of the delivery of news and information can be messy to navigate.

But by betting on strategic thinking over stagnation and decline, the city’s daily newspaper, The Standard-Times and its online counterpart,, is proving that the relevance of newspapers of historic importance have a voice which speaks to the future, not the past.

Steven Froias