Newburyport, Massachusetts, Tom Ryan and The Undertoad

It’s impossible to talk about politics in Newburyport, Massachusetts without talking about The Undertoad, a political journal, and it’s editor, Tom Ryan.

For those of you who don’t live in Newburyport, The Undertoad has been described by the Boston Globe (in its article on November 3, 2002) as the “insider’s guide to the underside of Newburyport.” I can’t think of a better way to describe it.

Mr. Ryan publishes stories that don’t always, (and many times absolutely would not) be printed in a traditional newspaper. Mr. Ryan has his ear to the ground, and if there is anything important going on in Newburyport, Tom Ryan knows about it. If Mr. Ryan publishes it in The Undertoad, most of Newburyport knows about it as well. As a result, The Undertoad has probably been one of the most significant influences on Newburyport politics since Mr. Ryan started it in 1996.

The Undertoad has been described as “controversial” and “divisive.” That’s probably an understatement. Many people have been stung and exasperated by The Undertoad’s commentary. But most eventually get over it, and go and take another peek.

It’s almost “shock Newburyport journalism,” it’s just hard not to wonder what The Undertoad is going to say next.

I’ve seen many a politician in Newburyport reading the Undertoad at Richdales (which is downtown) and look up and say either “I want to make sure I’m not in it” or “I want to know what’s going on.”

The Undertoad is not online otherwise it would have a link in the Newburyport Political Blog.

Mary Eaton, Newburyport