PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Valley Breeze, a notable success in Rhode Island’s beleaguered newspaper industry, announced Wednesday veteran reporter Ethan Shorey will take over as the paper’s top editor next month.
Shorey, 34, will succeed Marcia Green, the paper’s founding editor, who is retiring May 5. Shorey’s title will be managing editor.
“I’m excited to keep growing with a company that is so committed to what I love, which is sharing stories that make a difference and matter to people,” Shorey said in an article posted on the paper’s website. He has worked at The Valley Breeze for 11 years, and plans to continue covering three communities.
Breeze Publisher Tom Ward offered praise for Green, a former Pawtucket Times journalist who was recently inducted into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame. “For 21 years, she has been the heart and soul of the paper’s coverage and a steady voice of reason,” he said in the article.
Founded in 1996, The Breeze has been widely noted for its detailed coverage of communities in the Blackstone Valley, including Pawtucket and Woonsocket. The free weekly distributes about 60,000 copies of its five editions across the northern part of the state and updates its website daily. Shorey will lead a staff of more than a dozen full- and part-time newsroom employees.
“I think The Valley Breeze is unique because, as a free paper that is not mailed, it has to have a solid and important news presence in the community,” Ward told Eyewitness News last fall. “What we save at the post office can be put into writing and reporting local news. When we do that, residents go out of their way to get The Valley Breeze each week.”
The Breeze’s parent company, Breeze Publications, is the largest of the seven independent publishers that are members of the Rhode Island Newspaper Group advertising consortium, which also includes Beacon Communications, East Bay Newspapers, Hathaway Publishing, Independent Newspapers, Island Communications and Write Way Media.
The health of the nation’s community newspapers has been a source of increasing concern in recent years as the print industry continues to face economic challenges from the shift to digital media. As a University of North Carolina study last fall noted, “the stories their papers publish can have an outsized impact on the decisions made by residents in those communities, and, ultimately, on the quality of their lives.”