Had it with the nonstop barrage of political news? Mattapoisett native Vera Gibbons has.
In summer 2016, Gibbons, a longtime TV and print journalist with a background that includes work with MSNBC, the Today Show, SmartMoney, The New York Times, and others, launched NoPo (www.nonpoliticalnews.com), which is precisely that: a non-political news website, updated daily, full of stuff not always in the mainstream media but which she thinks subscribers will find interesting and conversational. Coverage includes consumer and personal finance, health and wellness, fashion, fitness, and dieting.
“I was so sick of hearing about politics and listening to all the hatred, seeing all the de-friending on social media, the lashing out, etc.,” said Gibbons, who splits her life between New York City and her hometown, where she can be seen in summer paddle-boarding in the ocean or dining at Turk’s Seafood restaurant. “It got to be too much.”
Her website, by contrast, in recent weeks had newsy nuggets ranging from platypus milk to Zsa Zsa Gabor’s estate auction.
She first toyed with the concept on Facebook where she said “the more heated politics got, the more frivolous things I’d post, like Betty White’s birthday and a sale at Target. People thought I was a genius, and everyone said I needed to do a blog.”
She enlisted Eileen Lonergan of Marion, who runs a web design and marketing firm, to come up with an initial site that soon “created a monster,” said Gibbons.
Her subscriber numbers now range from 5,000 to 10,000 where there once were three: Gibbons, her mother, and her sister. She researches and does most of the writing, with help from two contributors, and recently posted that she was looking for interns.
“Escapism,” Gibbons said, when asked to sum up what her website is. “You got so much political stuff rammed down your throats in the regular news, but with NoPo, you can’t put a slant on the return of the Shamrock Shake at McDonald’s. ... This is content for conversation, not animosity.”Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at email@example.com.