I’m excited to welcome you to the first edition of The Laurel Independent! This new monthly newspaper you’re holding in your hands is now bringing local news and culture to homes throughout the city of Laurel, and I think this first issue is special for many reasons.

In 2021, Laurel Mayor Craig Moe created a committee tasked with creating a publication to serve the city. This citizens task force turned to the the board of Streetcar Suburbs Publishing, a Hyattsville-based nonprofit that publishes the Hyattsville Life & Times and the College Park Here & Now, both award-winning monthly newspapers serving communities here in Prince George’s County. The board was enthusiastic about  this new venture. Now under Streetcar’s umbrella, The Laurel Independent can turn to resources of our sister newspapers; indeed, we are already benefiting from partnerships we have with their seasoned staff. Future plans include expanding The Laurel Independent’s circulation to include all Laurel businesses and households.

We’re launching this newspaper at a time when many others are folding: According to a recent national study by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, papers are closing at an average of two a week. How exciting to go against the stream — and in a city clearly eager to access and share local news. All stories in this inaugural  issue were written by volunteers who are eager to inform and engage you in local issues and opportunities — and the people who make this city such a special place.

This newspaper brings me back to Laurel, an area I became familiar with, professionally, several years ago. I’m eager to renew my connections with the city and make new ones, too. As managing editor of The Laurel Independent, I look forward to bringing you, our readers, the local news you deserve. 

Katie V. Jones

Managing editor, The Laurel Independent

While the city of Laurel did establish a task force to spark this publication, the city is not involved with editorial content of The Laurel Independent. And while the city does pay to have its own newsletter included with each issue of the paper, staff of The Laurel Independent do not write or review the city’s pages.