A Letter From the Publisher

I’ve always loved the last segment on the nightly news — the stories that make us feel more connected, the stories that restore our faith in our neighbors, the stories that make us smile. 

I also love being on the road and exploring new communities — learning the history and studying the local economy. There is so much American character to be found in cities and towns in the heartland.  Innovation is arising from small businesses in communities across our country. There is something special about this beautiful and diverse, great and eclectic country we call home. 

Today, Consensus is excited to release the pilot episode of our first regular digital series — a series that will cross the nation in search of these stories; seeking this inspiration; celebrating our innovation. We are calling it Made in America. And like Consensus, we have stories from farms and food purveyors; from craft breweries and craft stores; from schools and start-ups; and many surprising places in between.  

Our first few episodes come from West Virginia, a short drive from my home in Washington D.C. West Virginia is a state whose citizens demonstrated incredible kindness and joy when we visited. And, it is a state whose communities have not had it easy. Despite that, there is a consistent spirit of resilience across the state. These are the uplifting stories that Consensus has set out to tell. So grab your favorite local brew, and join us celebrating this incredible state and our first episode of Made in America from Greenbrier Valley Brewing in West Virginia. Cheers!

Conor Gaughan

October 11th, 2021

——

The last four months have been marked by tragedy — for our families, our communities, our country, and the world.  When our hope-filled team decided to start Consensus Digital Media, we were living in a different time, albeit just before this moment of profound social and cultural change. Frankly, it was a time and a world that increasingly and profoundly frustrated us. In so many places, hard divisions had replaced thoughtful discussions and mutual respect had given way to ugly rancor. Our discussions online increasingly feel like a scene from middle school — dominated by posturing, insults, and outright bullying. We had all had enough.

Then the entire world changed; and yet, nothing online seems to be changing. As Americans watch the news in shock and disbelief — the coronavirus is killing our neighbors and debilitating our economy.  We are helpless as our favorite shops shutter, and increasing numbers stand in line at food banks. We long for the past — not just a more prosperous America, but an era when the internet wasn’t a flood of constantly depressing posts but rather an online community where we could celebrate and share our successes and comfort far away friends and family. After all that is who we are as a nation: millions of stories, some good and uplifting, others tragic and painful, woven together in a shared existence that can either celebrate our differences or allow them to divide us.

At this moment there are so many stories to highlight, whether it’s the tireless work of those on the frontlines, the Main Street businesses that have taken action, or the everyday individuals who offer their neighbors a helping hand. It harkens back to the days of enjoying friends and neighbors of all sorts who challenged our preconceived notions, not just a social media feed that reinforced or validated our world view. We are reminded of our shared potential and promise.

Consensus is a new digital publisher that is striving for something greater than the status quo. We’re looking for topics that matter to our communities. We’re interested in telling those local stories that bring us together as a nation. We’re working to educate and empower, not belittle or patronize.

We believe in the good, the honest, the integrity that defines our country. We recognize that regardless of where you live or what you believe — most of us share many aspirations: a better and more sustainable world for our children; a long and healthy life for our parents; a feeling of fulfillment in our jobs; and a lifetime of loving friendship and fun memories.

From our staff to our stories, we look forward to celebrating these common tales, while we live these common values. Thanks for visiting and hope you will find our stories a compelling reminder of your stories too.

Conor Gaughan

June 29th, 2020