I write to you today with great joy – and great sorrow. Our intrepid reporter, Sophie Culpepper, has accepted a full-time position writing for Nieman Lab, the leading publication for the journalism field on innovation and technology. It is an amazing opportunity, and I am thrilled for Sophie.
But we are sad to see her go! Over the last two years, she has become an essential part of our community. I have more to say about Sophie, but first I want to assure you: the Observer will continue to provide the same level of informative and engaging content that you have come to expect. We have a robust (and growing) community of volunteers and contributors. Not only that, but Lexington resident and nationally recognized journalist Lauren Feeney has stepped in as an interim Executive Director. She is already working hard to ensure that we will publish without interruption.
You will still see that Friday morning email with all the goings-on around town, including community announcements, the Police Blotter, and the quality reporting you expect. Lauren is a founding member of our advisory board, and has put hours of volunteer time into editing and working on the Observer since its inception. We are thrilled she’s willing to step up and take this on full-time.
Please join me in congratulating Sophie and thanking her for her service. Her last day with the Lexington Observer will be April 14, 2023, meaning that Friday’s edition will be her last. We are planning an in-person “thank you” over coffee and donuts– stay tuned for more details on that!
Sophie has been, simply, incredible. The success of the Observer has rested substantially on her shoulders, especially in the first few months of operation. She has become an integral part of our community – a true voice for local journalism, striving for accuracy and balance while at the same time doing her best to serve our town. All of this in a strange boot-strapped non-profit start-up where more than once the bank balance was in the single digits! Without Sophie, the Lexington Observer might not have happened.
I am reminded of Vitruvius, the ancient Roman who is considered the father of architecture. In his book On Architecture, he described the three qualities for great buildings: integrity, utility, and inspiration. Those are three excellent ways of describing Sophie: She reports with utter integrity, thoroughly researching and reviewing every single sentence. She reports with great utility, providing enormous value to the community — her weekly newsletter is a “must-read”. And she brings great joy to her work, providing inspiration for all of us.
Sophie is truly a co-founder of the Lexington Observer, and should carry that moniker with her throughout her career. Now we must make her proud.
Thank you, Sophie, for everything you have done for our town.
And thank you, dear reader, for everything you do for Lexington, and for your support for the Observer. Without you, the Lexington Observer would not exist.
Please join me in thanking Sophie for her work by leaving a comment below.
Co-founder & Publisher, Lexington Observer