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15 Jun 2024

The Batavian is a locally-owned online news source serving Genesee County, New York residents. Established in 2005, the independent publication prides itself on providing its readers with in-depth local coverage that matters most to the community. While large mainstream media outlets have scaled back neighborhood reporting, The Batavian has filled this void by dedicating itself solely to issues impacting the Batavia area.

Its dedicated team of citizen journalists works to keep locals informed on essential topics like government decisions, school news, business openings and closings, and community events. The Batavian also aims to foster civic engagement through its commentary and letters section. With a mission to strengthen connections in the county through impactful storytelling, the nonprofit digital newspaper has become the trusted source for hyper-local coverage in Genesee.

What Are Some Of The Key Topics That The Batavian Covers In Its Local News Reporting?

the batavian

  • Local government – Reporting on city council, county legislature, and other municipal meetings and decisions.
  • Education – Cover the local school districts, including school board meetings and events.
  • Business – Profiling new companies in the area and economic development news.
  • Arts & culture – Highlighting local arts, music, theater, and cultural events and organizations.
  • Sports – Reporting on youth and high school sports in the region.
  • Courts – I attended local court proceedings and wrote about criminal cases.
  • Health – Writing stories about the healthcare system, public health initiatives, and local hospitals/clinics.
  • Nonprofits – Covering the work of charitable groups and volunteer opportunities.
  • Agriculture – Reporting on issues affecting local farms and the farming community.
  • Environment – Addressing sustainability, parks/recreation, and municipal infrastructure projects.

Can You Provide More Information About The Team Of Citizen Journalists At The Batavian

the batavian

The Batavian is proudly run by a team of dedicated citizen journalists who live and work in Genesee County. Led by founder and Editor-in-Chief Howard Owens, their reporting staff includes multi-faceted contributors like Tom Rivers, who focuses on local government and courts, and Mike Pettinella, an expert on education issues. The team also provides community members from varied backgrounds, such as Christopher Hale, whose lens shares stories from the county’s Hispanic population.

While small in size, the quality and passion of The Batavian’s journalists rivals that of more extensive publications. Through nights attending meetings and days pursuing local impact, they have their fingers on the pulse of all facets of life in Genesee. The citizen journalists leverage personal connections and institutional knowledge to tell Batavia’s stories with heart. Whether covering sports, business, or the arts, each staff member is dedicated to building regional understanding and unity through their informative, community-driven reporting.

Some Recent Stories Or Articles That The Batavian Has Published On Local Government Topics

The Batavian actively covers the workings of local government across Genesee County. Some critical articles from the past month include extensive reporting on the city of Batavia’s budget approval process, with an analysis of department funding decisions and their impact on services. The team also attended Genesee County Legislature meetings, writing about debates around American Rescue Plan Act spending and proposed charter changes.

Additionally, they dove into the issues surrounding a controversial zoning application for a new development in the Town of Batavia. For Le Roy village residents, The Batavian informed readers about local code enforcement protocol updates. For coronavirus coverage, they followed health guidelines discussed by town boards. This in-depth local government reporting helps keep Batavia-area citizens informed about impactful decisions affecting their communities. Through dogged coverage of meetings and issues, The Batavian remains the premier source for hyper-local governance news.

Can You Provide More Information About The City Of Batavia’s Budget Approval Process?

  • The city department heads would have submitted their proposed budgets and spending plans for the next fiscal year to the city administrator/manager.
  • The administrator/manager would review all submissions, make any revisions, and compile the budgets into a proposed master budget plan for the city.
  • The city council’s finance committee would introduce and review the proposed city budget in workshop sessions, allowing changes to be made.
  • A public hearing would allow citizen input on the proposed budget.
  • The city council would hold voting sessions to debate and amend the budget as needed until a final budget is approved.
  • Key discussion areas may have included priorities for the police, fire, and public works departments and funding for infrastructure, programs, services, and initiatives.
  • The goal would be to approve a balanced budget by the beginning of the accounting year on July 1st without raising taxes beyond a certain percentage.


The Batavian is a valuable online community resource for the towns and villages it covers in Genesee County, New York. Through its local news stories, event listings, business directories, and opportunities for community interaction, the site helps connect area residents and keep them informed about what is happening locally.

While many daily news updates are shared, The Batavian also provides insightful feature stories that give deeper context into issues shaping the region. As more commerce and civic participation shifts online, the site is essential in maintaining a sense of partnership and shared interests among rural neighborhoods. By promoting local businesses and organizations, Batavian further strengthens the vitality of small towns. Its diverse platform unites community members across different geographic locations through a centralized online hub.

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