Across the country, over the past two decades, more than 2,200 weekly newspapers have closed down, including the Needham Times, having a profound effect on our civic health.

The League of Women Voters of Needham Fall Forum will feature representatives from three sources of local news who will present their concepts, missions, goals, and future plans:

Peter O’Neil is the Executive Editor of the Needham Observer. He was a reporter for the Westfield Evening News and the Malden Evening News before working in communications positions for UMass and the Department of Environmental Management and as senior researcher with an institutional investment firm. Peter is a Town Meeting Member and past chair of Needham SEPAC.

Marc Mandel is the Executive Director of the Needham Channel. Starting his career with Continental Cablevision, he was the second producer of the Needham Cable News, serving in that capacity from 1997 to 2001. Together with Michael Greis and the Needham Community Television Development Corporation, Marc helped create “Needham Local”, a site dedicated to showcasing and following local Needham news. They just recently launched its newsletter service.

Amy Haelsen is Director of Communications & Community Engagement for the Town of Needham. She is a seasoned community engagement specialist with extensive experience in economic development, downtown revitalization and small business support. In her current role she directs the implementation of an integrated communications strategy for the Town, focusing on the conveyance of public information and identifying opportunities to engage and solicit input from residents, businesses and stakeholders on Town initiatives and projects. As such, she is the editor of the weekly newsletter, News from the Town of Needham.

A Q+A session will be held after the presentations.

The forum will be held in-person at the Center at the Heights, 300 Hillside Avenue, Needham.

The forum will be available for viewing on The Needham Channel, and will be recorded for later viewing on this and the Needham Channel websites.

The forum is free and open to the public.