Susan Petroni becomes Framingham's first propaganda minister

Framingham Source Publisher Takes Job With City As Publication Shifts April 26, 2023
Montana Samuels Framingham Patch
FRAMINGHAM, MA - Framingham has hired veteran journalist and Framingham Source editor Susan Petroni to be the City's new public information officer.

Susan Scully Petroni: City of Framingham Public Information Officer


This follows a shift for the publication Petroni founded nearly a decade ago, as she announced it would pivot to a self-publishing model.

"Communicating with residents what the City and my administration is accomplishing is a top priority, and I can't think of a better person to accomplish that goal than Susan," said Mayor Charlie Sisitsky.

Petroni, who began reporting on Framingham with Patch with the company was owned by AOL in 2010, will guide communications for all city departments excluding the police department.

Framingham Source, a digital media outlet that became a consistent provider of high-quality local news coverage during a time of shrinking newsrooms, was launched in 2016. It featured coverage almost wholly from Petroni of city hall, sports, community events, schools and more. Interested in local real estate?Subscribe to Patch's new newsletter to be the first to know about open houses, new listings and more.

"Having launched two successful news outlets within the last 13 years, I know I can create a multi prong communications plan for the City of Framingham," said Petroni, who has lived in Framingham since 2000.

"My goal is to not only provide residents with the basic facts of issues and events, but also the 'why' they need to know the information."

What's Happening With The Source?

Petroni announced on April 13 that the publication had seen advertising revenues take a hit post-COVID pandemic.

The publication focused on selling local advertisements, according to a letter from Petroni, and those businesses have struggled to work advertising dollars back into their regular business expenses.

That doesn't mean the publication hasn't remained successful, according to the data shared by Petroni. The publication garnered 5.5 million page views coming from more than 150,000 readers a month, she said.

Alas, shrinking advertising dollars and the 24/7 grind of local journalism have led to burnout for Petroni, who cited work-life balance and a desire for less financial stress to lead to this choice.

"While I love my career as a journalist, editor, and publisher, the stress of trying to produce news daily with a volatile advertising market has taken a toll on me, as owner and as a journalist," Petroni wrote.

"I have not had 2-days off in a row, since before the pandemic."

The publication will now pivot to a self-publishing model starting on May 1, and Petroni will be hiring a webmaster to manage the site. She will no longer be reporting on news in the city, and won't oversee the day-to-day operations of the Source.

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