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Manor Ink is a youth driven, community supported newspaper that was originally started in 2012. Since then we have come a long way. We’ve covered everything from high school graduations to fires and devastating floods.

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Manor Ink began because there was a gap in our community. Livingston Manor, a small town on the edge of the Catskills had no local news outlet. Our community newspaper was shut down in the poor economy of 2009 and our high school newspaper was shut down at that time for the same reason: no money. A local mom said, “why not start a community-wide newspaper led by teens, run from the library.” That was the inspiration, and soon after Manor Ink was born.

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“Manor Ink is a breakthrough step in an era of roiling change in the ways we communicate, and a model that I hope other communities will adopt.”

– Tom Stites, journalist

It has been a vehicle to grow awareness of events, opportunities and businesses locally. Manor Ink has empowered it’s young staff to find and use our voice in the greater community and given us skills that we will use for the rest of our lives. It has highlighted the importance of local news production and literacy as part of the “glue” of a community.

By reporting on first responders to flooded or burning landmarks, neighbors bringing hot coffee and hugs to broken-hearted business owners, or observing how many volunteers it takes to create a community garden, beautification project or annual ice carnival these young reporters are learning first hand who the real heroes are: the people and places and events that shape the character and backbone of their community.”

-A Manor Ink reader

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Roan, Nicole and Emma show excitement over their first cover article.

After providing our community with local news for five years Manor Ink took a short hiatus and is now resuming press with new energy and continued support from the library, school and local community.

Major Accomplishments:

  • In 2013 we received the Innovation Award
  • We have been in operation for almost five years
  • Increased participation and knowledge of local public events through Manor Ink
  • Inspired and served as a model for three other community based student newspapers

Manor Ink is a source of pride for our town, library, and school. We help create the opportunity for transformative experiences for youth – yes you can make an impact on your community! We have helped to build young people’s skills through experiences in the areas of writing, interviewing, observing, sales, teamwork, design and layout. We have helped to increase an understanding of the role of media, the basis of factual reporting, and the distinction between fact and opinion among our staff. Manor Ink has provided an opportunity for young people to share our important voice in the community.

Manor Ink Taught Skills, Instilled Pride

by Melissa Symanski / for Manor Ink

It was a cold Tuesday in December when I decided to take my art teacher up on her suggestion, and pitch my bullying awareness article idea to the Manor Ink staff. Upon arriving at the meeting, I spoke with both Barbara Gref and Peggy Johansen about how I wanted to write the article for the Ithaca College Park Scholarship Award that I was applying for. Both women met me with great support and asked me to present my idea to the group. When the Manor Ink staff gave me their approval, I went right to work writing my article.

When I saw my first article in print, I was so proud of what I had accomplished I handed out copies to almost everyone I knew! I quickly became an involved member of the group by writing two or three articles per edition and attending meetings regularly. I participated in several trips including a trip to SCCC to hear Ithaca’s mayor Svante Myrick speak, and a trip to Bethel Woods to explore the museum, as well as, to meet with other youth journalists. Some of the great highlights of my experience with Manor Ink include helping to put on the Community News Summit, interviewing the mayor of Ithaca, and collaborating with the mentors and other youth reporters to produce a great newspaper.

I was not chosen as a recipient for the Park Scholarship (though I was designated as an alternate), but I continued to write for Manor Ink because I truly enjoyed it. I’ve become more confident in my writing abilities, and I have learned many skills that have made me a better listener and a better reporter. I took those skills with me to Ithaca College this fall, and to my future career in the Communications field. I really value the time that I spent learning and growing as a writer for Manor Ink, and I hope that other kids realize what an amazing opportunity it is to have your voice heard in the community and join like I did.

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If you are a young person or know of a young person who would like to get involved with Manor Ink come join us!

To support our local non-profit newspaper, written by young people in our town, please consider becoming a sponsor! Help keep our story going! For more info email

Donate to Manor Ink by clicking the button below!

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