Salisbury Independent celebrates 10th anniversary


SALISBURY -- We’re celebrating a decade of headlines and deadlines.

A decade of celebrating the place we call home.

A decade of the Salisbury Independent.

“Hello Salisbury!” greeted readers of the first edition in May 2014.

The time was right, as Editor Greg Bassett noted, for a community newspaper committed to community coverage and community voices.

At a time when scores of news outlets were closing across the nation, we dared to launch one with a strong belief that Salisbury would embrace a weekly newspaper.

“People who operate small newspapers do so because they love what they do,” Bassett wrote in the first edition. “They know they matter. They believe with all their heart that their readers and the causes of the local community matter. They find great joy — personally and professionally — when they can help bring divergent groups together, who go on to accomplish something good.

“That’s why local papers exist, and why they must (and will) continue to exist. Someone has to be there to aid those who are making an effort. Someone has to recognize and celebrate the community’s victories.”

Sadly, Bassett didn’t live to celebrate this day with us.

He died in December, leaving a legacy of community service through journalism.
He was the Independent’s champion right from the start. And, always, he was a champion of Salisbury.

Bassett was the right newspaperman for the job, having already spent decades at the city’s daily.

Those of us at Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA are proud of what we have built with the Salisbury Independent — embracing our company’s style of community journalism.

We publish several newspapers, along with, that are “of, by and for” people in the community.

Our news coverage centers on stories that give readers a better understanding of the issues facing the community and we’re always looking for ways to showcase the good in the community. Readers, not our staff, can debate those issues on our opinion pages.

We also take great pride in serving the community by printing, or posting online, the news, events and accomplishments they wish to share.

The University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill School of Journalism recently released a Local News Ecosystem Study. We were humbled to see that the organizers recognized “whose newsroom leaders offer some of the richest hyperlocal content we found.”

In Maryland, Independent also publishes the Crisfield-Somerset County Times and the Dorchester Banner. Content from each is available at where new items are posted daily.

For complete access to, a subscription ($5 per month) is required. Subscribers help us finance our journalism.

The Salisbury Independent also takes pride in providing a place where advertisers can reach readers. From the beginning, marketing consultant Cathy Koyanagi has been making those connections.

MDDC Press honors

Today, we’re also celebrating posthumous honors for Bassett.

For a series of stories on mayoral changes in Salisbury, he and freelance writer Liz Holland teamed up for first place in the continuing coverage category in the 2023 Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association contest.

Bassett’s “Salisbury Rising” project won first place in the news-driven special section category.

Also, a tribute to Bassett — written by this editor — won second place for a local column headlined, “In a roundabout way, obelisk is also a tribute to late Salisbury Independent editor.”

The awards were announced last week. The Independent was in Division E, which includes weekly newspapers from across the region.

Bassett loved in-depth reporting on a local level.

Over the first decade, Salisbury Independent won five MDDC Press first-place awards for “Public Service” reporting in the division for weekly newspaper in the area. Of those, four were deemed “Best of Show” — meaning that he had bested journalists in all divisions, including the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post.

The topics include coverage of the water main extension to Salisbury-Wicomico Regional Airport in 2020; in-depth coverage of the 2018 elections; county charter changes in 2016, the opioid crisis in 2017 and 2015.

Public Service awards measure a newspaper’s effort to spur action in a community through in-depth reporting on an issue of public concern.

Advertising awards

Koyanagi and designer DJ Cox were awarded second place in the large print advertisement category for a piece for Kuhn’s Jewelry.

Koyanagi and designer Angi Hicks were awarded second place in the non-retail business large advertising competition for Kathleen Momme’s real estate ad.

Hicks and Heather Cregar, our director of marketing and promotions, won second place in the self-promotion category for a subscription ad.
Help us with next decade

We want to hear from you. Email me at or Managing Editor Richard Caines at with comments, suggestions and ideas.

Community organizations should send news releases and photos to We stand by our mantra that if you send it us, we’ll get it in — in print and/or on

In closing, note on the front page that this is Vol. 11, No. 1.

We’re looking forward to serving readers for another decade of headlines and deadlines.

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