Press "Enter" to skip to content

Digital news source debuts for Nashua

Ink Link Founders.jpg

Nashua InkLink founder Carol Robidoux and reporter Mya Blanchard on the steps of Nashua City Hall

In the spirit of “solutions journalism” and collaboration, the Granite State News Collaborative and Ink Link publisher Carol Robidoux have launched Nashua Ink Link as a way of expanding news coverage in New Hampshire’s second-largest city.

The site, nashuainklink.com, operates under the Ink Link News umbrella and went live Feb. 19.

Full-time municipal reporter Mya Blanchard, a graduate of Nashua Community College and Rivier University, worked for the Hippo Press before accepting the position with Nashua Ink Link. Supplemental coverage is provided by Robidoux as well as a team of freelancers and community contributors. Advisors for the endeavor include Anthony Payton of Nashua Digital and Jeff Feingold, former editor of NH Business Review, who has joined the Collaborative’s editorial team since his retirement in 2023.

Granite State News Collaborative Executive Director Melanie Plenda said the project developed organically.

“I talk a lot with local editors, and I talked with people just out in the community — funders and things like that. Over time, people kept coming to me, knowing we’re tied into the local news ecosystem, for lack of a better word. People would ask ‘What’s going on in Nashua? What’s happening in Nashua?’ There just wasn’t the amount of coverage that we would normally see for the second-largest city in a state and the second-most diverse city in the state. So the more people kind of shared their concerns about that, the more we started trying to work together to figure out how to fix it and what we could do about it,” said  Plenda.

Funding comes from various sources, including the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and established Ink Link advertisers, as well as community supporters. 

“No one should be in this business to make money,” Robidoux said. “Or rather, making enough money to keep the lights on, pay reporters a decent wage and have enough left at the end of the day to put a little bread on your own table is a noble and realistic goal.” 

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to reach profitability and growth.

“As far as I can tell we are all non-profit news organizations, regardless of our tax status. If I didn’t have a husband willing to invest in me and what I’m trying to do, my story of entrepreneurial journalism would have been over before it started,” Robidoux said. 

The focus right now should be on retaining the news organizations we have and finding creative ways to rebuild the profession while creating new funding models, something Robidoux says she has been experimenting with for the past decade.

“The biggest challenge to that is the ever-changing world of technology – and the public’s appetite for legitimate news versus anyone’s willingness to invest in it,” she said.

Robidoux launched Manchester Ink Link in 2014 as an independent news publisher after a long career as a reporter for several publications including the Union Leader and Nashua Patch. She is a founding member of the Collaborative, and says it’s been exciting to create something that matters to readers.

Building a dynamic news site and delivering news to readers is the (relatively) easy part, Robidoux says; reaching sustainability is still the golden ring on the carousel ride of her independent journalism journey. 

She feels fortunate that she has been able to spend the past 10 years helping to bridge gaps in New Hampshire’s news ecosystem. Raising awareness about the vital role news plays in every community, no matter its size, will hopefully make a difference when it comes to new opportunities for the next generation of journalists.

“So far the feedback from the Nashua community has been encouraging. I’m grateful to the Collaborative for its mission of expanding the news landscape for the good people of New Hampshire who want – and need – to be informed while also supporting all member publications, as we find new ways to be relevant and sustainable,” Robidoux said.