The Reporter turns 40 this year

The Dorchester Reporter family is celebrating our 40th anniversary this year.

Founded by my parents, Ed Forry and Mary Casey Forry, in a spare bedroom of my childhood home on Richmond Street, the newspaper started as a monthly publication in 1983. I was ten years old. My sister Maureen was five.

The inaugural edition of The Reporter – published in September – carried a greeting on its cover underneath a headline that said, simply, “Hello!”

“This is the very first edition of a new monthly newspaper that will be delivered to your home at the beginning of every month. The main goal of The Reporter is to provide information to you— news about your church, your school, your neighborhood, your local merchants.

“We’ll also have advertisements for local businesses, and a classified section telling you about local yard sales, flea markets, help-wanted, items for sale, and the like.”

The name flag atop the front page read simply: The Reporter. Under the flag was the same mission statement that we carry today: “The News and Values Around the Neighborhood.”

In just a few years, The Reporter went from monthly publication to bi-weekly and then weekly. Gradually, the paper added staff — including a few people without the Forry surname. In 1984, the business moved into proper quarters, a third-floor suite at the corner of Minot and Adams Streets, above the old Gerard’s. In 1987, The Reporter moved into a building that once housed a “First National” corner store at 304 Neponset Ave. That building has since been renovated as an up-to-date multi-family home. We moved into our current office space on Columbia Point in 2001.

In 1994, with the advent of the Internet, Ed Forry registered the name, and that has been our online home ever since. Today, other digital and social platforms bring The Reporter’s work to readers all over Boston’s neighborhoods and far beyond. But the print product you’re holding now remains essential.

Keeping a family-owned, independent neighborhood newspaper afloat, healthy, and relevant in 2023 requires a persistence and commitment that is worthy of some recognition. We intend to mark the milestone by doing what we know best: publishing stories. In this instance, that means a look back at the Reporter’s origins. (See Chris Lovett’s retrospective in today’s Dot Day section.) We’ll also celebrate with a party at our favorite local brewery, Dorchester Brewing Company.

I’ll close with a bit of news: My wife, former state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, has recently assumed the role of associate publisher of The Reporter. Linda has had an ownership stake in our company – Boston Neighborhood News, Inc. – for as long as I’ve owned it, circa 2010. But Linda did not have any formal role at the paper, even in the five years since she transitioned from elected office to the private sector.

That has changed over the last few months, as Linda launched her own consulting company. The Reporter will be one of several businesses that Linda will assist. Her focus here will be on business development, diversity, equity and inclusion, and special projects. I am delighted to say that her talent, insights, and network are already boosting our efforts week-to-week. Ed Forry remains a daily presence at The Reporter at age 78. My sister, Maureen Forry-Sorrell, is a key part of the operation, too, with a focus on marketing, digital, and special projects. We are fortunate and grateful to have a team of dedicated journalists and staff who share our goal to produce high-quality journalism in Boston’s neighborhoods for years to come.

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