Bob Charest: Our Chairman Celebrates InDepthNH’s Independence Day $5,000 Match Fundraiser

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Bob Charest

Editor’s Note: We are blowing our own horn all week for Independence Day and Independent News with this awesome fundraiser because Don Burns is honoring his wife Katy Burns, a well-known Concord Monitor columnist who died last November. Don is matching all of your donations starting July 1 up to $5,000 through the Katy Burns Local Journalism Fund. You can donate here and it will be doubled up to $5,000 to celebrate Independent News: checks to NH Center for Public Interest Journalism, 38 Edgewater Drive, Barrington, NH 03825, EIN Number 812266973Yesterday we celebrated Paula Tracy and the day before our columnists. Ask us anything all week long! email


I often wake up wondering why has attracted so many amazing news professionals like Bob Charest to this humble startup where we report unbiased, nonpartisan nonprofit news for New Hampshire.

Like me, Paula Tracy, Damien Fisher, Beverly Stoddart and Garry Rayno, Bob worked for many years at the New Hampshire Union Leader where he was well-known as the Special Sections Editor. He was also known for his dedication, calm demeanor and delightful sense of humor. Before that he worked at the Lawrence Eagle Tribune after graduating from the Boston University College of Communication.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because this week, I am sharing the story of as we host our Independent News fundraiser for July 4’s Independence Day. Asking for your help is an important part of what we must do to keep growing.

 But this fundraiser is special because Don Burns is honoring his wife Katy Burns, a well-known Concord Monitor columnist who died last November, by matching all of your donations starting July 1 up to $5,000 through the Katy Burns Local Journalism Fund.

Thank you, Don – who has also recently joined our board of directors – for helping us all honor Katy and all of the great journalists in New Hampshire.

Thank you, too, for all of you readers who have already started donating to the match fund and come to for many reasons. We like to think it is because we tell the truth.

But more about Bob.

Bob is one of the best editors I ever worked with. At the New Hampshire Union Leader, he was always the most talented, hard-working and dedicated professional in a busy newsroom where everyone was his friend.

And trust me, everyone needs a friend like Bob Charest. He is always there for you, for me, and now especially there for He truly understands the crisis facing local news and works diligently behind the scenes to build

He makes sure we hold firm to old-school ethics, but embrace all promising new ideas to keep local news alive and thriving.

Bob was the first person I asked to serve on our board of directors and nine years later he remains our dedicated board chairman and a true champion.

Besides being the consummate news professional, he is an amazing human being. He is a kind, generous man always looking to be helpful.

As his then-boss Charlie Perkins at the Union Leader once said of Bob:

“Through his career, Bob has quietly exemplified the best attributes of local journalism and peer leadership. As a journalist, Bob is a multi-talented professional with a skill set that ranges from top-notch copy editing to creative, thoughtful layouts.”

For, and always for free, Bob Charest reports, writes grants, writes an occasional column “Why It Should Matter NH.”

And leads our board – men and women who in their own right have done so much to help us grow, people like Gina Gilmore, Don Burns, Steve Taylor, George Bald, Gloria Norris, Robin Mulcahy, Lucy Wyman, Beverly Stoddart and Donald Kreis. We are also actively recruiting Barbara Tetreault to join our board.

Here are the bios for all of our board members:

This reminds me that we are also putting together an advisory board, a group of people who want to get together to volunteer their time to make us better. Sign up for our free newsletter and invite your friends to do the same. Make suggestions. We need your help anyway you can be helpful We are in this together.

During COVID-19, Bob researched nursing homes in New Hampshire when most of the COVID-19 deaths were occurring in nursing homes and wrote a five-part series detailing what was going on. He showed readers how they can use public websites to investigate nursing homes on their own as well.

If that is not enough, Bob is also reworking his first novel.

Bob served as a CASA volunteer for 14 years and as a legal guardian for a developmentally disabled man. He and his wife Cindy, who recently retired after a 42-year career as an elementary school teacher, are the parents of an adult son, Nick.

Bob Charest, his family, his friends, our readers are all a big part of who we are at This is your news site, all.

Please email me with questions about I will tell you more about us as the week progresses and our war chest grows with your donations.

We plan to use some of these funds to help pay to build our business division. We have just finished undergoing a special business audit as part of a grant and I will share the suggestions as we implement them. Audit Analyst Dan Petty wrote a roadmap for success for, also praising what we have done so far.

“Founder Nancy West and her team produce high quality news, information and commentary across a wide array of subject areas. There’s a lot of potential stories that people might find interesting, and their ongoing coverage of the state house and other powerful people and institutions make it a must-read in the state,” Petty wrote.

These are scary, but exciting times in the news business. We thank you for taking this remarkable journey with us. Email

It’s time for us all to help. We promise at to work hard for you, New Hampshire.

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