Mónica Guzmán (right) was only gone a year, on a fellowship at Harvard, but when she returned to her home in Seattle in summer 2016, the former Post-Intelligencer reporter and Seattle Times tech columnist discovered a city transformed: worse traffic, more homeless encampments, and a general sense of dwindling accessibility as communities moved further apart. “So then we started The Evergrey.”
The “we” includes Anika Anand (left), a North Carolina native and former Seattle Times engagement editor. Together the two dreamed up a novel kind of news outlet, one dedicated to helping readers feel connected to their city, to one another.
As part of the new WhereBy.Us network of community-based media, The Evergrey sends out weekday morning newsletters filled with original reporting, digestible news roundups on everything from civic issues to new restaurant openings, and local event suggestions.
“There’s a ton of information out there for people to sift through,” says Anand. “Part of what we do is curate voices that maybe aren’t being heard through the noise,” while providing a resource for people who don’t have the time or energy to scour Twitter and always stay up to date on local politics.
By focusing on reader connectivity over page views, Anand and Guzmán’s newsletter experiment provides a bit of respite from the high-volume news cycle. In the 16 months since sending its first newsletter, The Evergrey has grown to nearly 6,000 subscribers. Though to Guzmán and Anand, the numbers matter less than creating a community that feels activated and engaged.