Founded in 2012, What’sUpNewp is a local, independent online news source that’s dedicated to covering all that’s happening, new, and to do in Newport, Rhode Island, and beyond.
What’sUpNewp was recognized in 2018, 2019, and 2020 by Rhode Island Monthly readers as Rhode Island’s best local news website.
What’sUpNewp is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION) and Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE). What’sUpNewp has been the recipient of multiple grants, including one in 2018 to report on Affordable Housing
What’sUpNewp is independently owned by Ryan Belmore and made possible by the talent, experience, and professionalism of the following reporters, columnists, and writers.
What’s Up Newp Crew
Ryan Belmore, Publisher, has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Born and raised in Rhode Island, he spent 39 years living in Rhode Island – calling Newport home for more than a decade. In support of a career opportunity, he moved to Virginia, with his wife and two rescue dogs in August 2021. With the support of an amazing team of on-the-ground contributors, he is passionate and dedicated to building What’sUpNewp into the go-to news source for Newport, Newport County, and beyond. He visits Newport at least once a month.
Frank Prosnitz, News Editor brings to WhatsUpNewp several years of journalism experience, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal. He began his journalism career as a sportswriter at the Asbury Park (NJ) Press, moving to The News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ), before joining the Providence Journal. Prosnitz also hosts the Morning Show and It’s Your Business on WBLQ radio. He has twice won Best in Business Awards from the national Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), twice was named Media Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration and was recognized for investigative reporting by the New England Press Association, and newswriting by the the Rhode Island Press Association. Prosnitz also served as president and administrator of the Providence Newspaper Guild, and as communications manager of the Rhode Island Blood Center. Educated at Monmouth College, he has been involved in numerous non-profit and professional organizations throughout Rhode Island and the New England region.
Ken Abrams, Lifestyle Editor writes about music and more for What’sUpNewp, Providence Monthly, SO RI, and The Bay. He DJ’s “The Kingston Coffeehouse” Tuesday nights, 6 to 9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM. Abrams taught Social Studies for 33 years at Scituate Middle and High Schools, and was a department chair at Scituate Middle School, where he won numerous awards and grants. He was also a former president of the Scituate chapter of the National Education Association. He was the music critic at GoLocalProv for four years and won a Rhode Island Press Association award for Local Tourism Story for So Rhode Island’s “Wickford Past and Present.” Ken is also involved in various volunteer organizations. He is a graduate of Boston University, with an MAT from Brown University.
Gary Alpert, photographer, having been diagnosed with a profound hearing loss at the age of two, Gary has always witnessed the world around him with a heightened sense of sight. While hearing aids offer him a world with sound, he continues to experience the world with a visual edge. With a camera in hand, he hopes to show you what he sees.
Tyler Bernadyn, columnist & contributor, born and raised in the Ocean State, Bernadyn is a Providence College graduate and proudly calls Newport home. A professional realtor, he is a weekly contributor for WhatsUpNewp, writing about real estate. He is involved with a number of charitable causes.
Jan Brogan, contributor has been a journalist for more than 30 years, working as a correspondent for the Boston Globe, a staff writer for the Worcester Telegram and the Providence Journal, where she won the Gerald Loeb award for distinguished business writing. She is the award-winning author of four mysteries, Final Copy, Confidential Source, Yesterday’s Fatal, and Teaser. She grew up in Clifton, New Jersey, and moved to New England to study journalism at Boston University. She holds a master’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She continues to work as a novelist and a journalist, and she teaches writing at the Boston University Summer Journalism Institute. She lives with her husband in a Boston suburb.
Thom Cahir, contributor contributes occasionally, mostly on topics concerning South County and the West Bay. He is an alum of the Providence Journal newsroom but has also worked in mass communications, written and performed comedy, and was pivotal in establishing two non-profits in the wake of the Station Fire.
Jack Casey, photographer, has always loved music. Whether listening, playing solo or with friends these experiences over the decades have informed his photography. The passion to photographically preserve the pinnacle moment of a musicians’ performance is what fuels him. He has shot a diverse range of thousands of world class artists, dating back to the early 70s. Casey has photographed the Newport Festivals, the Philadelphia Folk Festival and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festivals. It’s not uncommon to see him shooting at many local theaters, clubs and performance venues. Casey’s work has appeared on CD covers and in publications, physical and online media as well as being included by Joan Baez in the book, Musicians As Artists. After being retired for a decade from a career in social work, Casey is working on a photo-story book reflecting upon his life on the stage, backstage and in the photo pit.
Rick Farrell, photographer, of Mojo Photography, as been drawn to music his entire life. Maybe it was growing up in Newport, RI, host to the venerable Newport Jazz and Folk festivals. Or maybe it was the countless hours listening to his older siblings’ classic LP’s and 45’s on the stereo in the 1960’s. Whatever the reason, there has always been a strong connection.
He had originally taken up photography as a hobby, eventually gravitating towards shooting professionally in 2007. Never knowing what his true passion or niche was, proved to be very frustrating to say the least. Then in 2009 he shot a concert, and everything seemed to click. He had discovered his passion! Concert photography!
He considers himself fortunate to have photographed shows at some of the premier venues in New England, including Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium. He has literally photographed hundreds of shows, including some of the biggest acts in today’s music industry. He has photographed many esteemed festivals including the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Newport Folk Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, and Farm Aid. His work has been published in numerous outlets locally, regionally, and nationally.
Musically, he loves everything from rock to country, jazz, R&B, pop, and classical. There is no greater feeling for him than capturing a moment on stage for others to enjoy for posterity. Whatever your taste, his goal is to provide “music for your eyes.”
Michael Fine, MD, a What’sUpNewp columnist, is a writer, community organizer, and family physician. He is the chief health strategist for the City of Central Falls, RI, and a former Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, 2011–2015. He is currently the Board Vice Chair and Co-Founder of the Scituate Health Alliance. He is the recipient of the Barbara Starfield Award, the John Cunningham Award, and the June Rockwell Levy Public Service Award. Fine is also an author of many short stories, and both fiction and non-fiction books. His books include, On Medicine as Colonialism, Rhode Island Stories, The Bull and Other Stories, Abundance, Health Care Revolt, The Nature of Health, and The Zero Calorie Diet.
Jay Flanders, columnist, is a native of Newport and avid cook. While he studied at the University of Rhode Island, he also attended the College of Food Network via his television set where he learned the basics of cooking. Also being an all-too-avid eater at restaurants, he really began to learn what ingredients went together, cooking techniques and other tips and tricks in the kitchen. He used that knowledge to teach himself how to cook and how to start making his own recipes. Now, he’s here to give you his tips, tricks, and sometimes uniquely tasty spins on recipes and to show you that great cooking can be done in the tiniest of kitchens like his.
Gerry Goldstein, contributor and columnist, is a retired Providence Journal editor and columnist. Goldstein is a graduate of the University Rhode Island journalism program who began his professional career in 1962 at the weekly, hot-type Narragansett (R.I) Times, where journalism was as personal as the next person to walk in the door. He later moved to the statewide Providence Journal, where for 25 years he was chief of its South County news bureau and a weekly columnist. For eight consecutive years the Rhode Island Press Association judged his column the best among community columns in the state, and in 2003 he was inducted into the Rhode Island Journalism Hall of Fame. His work has also been cited by the New England Press Association and United Press International for feature and news writing, community service, and investigative reporting. Since his retirement from the Journal in 2002 he has worked as a consulting editor, freelance writer, and essayist. He and his wife, Ann, live at Shalom Acres (Shalom meaning “peace” in Hebrew), their five-acre hobby farm in Greenville’s apple orchard country, which they share with two miniature horses, two Tibetan terriers, and a wide variety of itinerant wildlife.
Tim Jones, columnist, is the creator, artist, and writer of the widely popular, self-syndicated comic strip, “SOUR GRAPES;” a comic about “Aesop”, a miserable flying dog and his odd friends, all living in a problematic and troubled world. Sour Grapes is currently published in multiple newspapers in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, California, and Texas and is also available online. Jones grew up in Attleboro, Massachusetts and now lives in Smithfield, Rhode Island with his wife, and two daughters. He has been a freelance cartoonist for more than 20 years and is a member of the National Cartoonists Society and ARIA (Association of Rhode Island Authors). He has created several Sour Grapes compilations and story-coloring books. Jones teaches cartooning and speaks at local schools and libraries.
Frank O’Donnell, theater critic and columnist, is a well-known Rhode Island comic and actor, who has also written, produced, and directed four holiday-themed shows and once helmed the Notfanuttin’ Players, specializing in audience-participation dinner shows. He’s been performing as a stand-up comedian since 1982 and was inducted into the RI Comedy Hall of Fame. He’s written comedy for other performers, like Bob Hope, Jay Leno, and Joe Piscopo. He’s opened for performers as diverse as the Judds, Michael Bolton, Chicago, David Brenner, Gilbert Gottfried and more. O’Donnell has been writing reviews and features about theater in Rhode Island for more than two decades. His work to help save the monarch butterfly has been chronicled on NBC Nightly News. He is president of the Keri Anne O’Donnell Memorial Fund.
- In May 2018, What’s Up Newp won an Impact-Designated Investigative Grant from Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION).
- In August 2018, What’s Up Newp was named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers.
- In August 2019, What’s Up Newp was once again named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers.
- In September 2020, What’s Up Newp was once again named Best local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers.
- In October 2020, What’s Up Newp’s Ryan Belmore was named Member of The Year by LION Publishers.
- In October 2020, What’s Up Newp’s Ryan Belmoer was awarded the 2020 Dominique Award from the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County.
We are a proud member of Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION) and Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE).
Editorial Independence Policy
We follow the standards of Local Independent Online News Publishers, which we are a member of. We produce topical content in the general public interest while upholding high professional standards, including transparency, integrity, fairness, accuracy, completeness, and accountability.
What’s Up Newp relies on advertising and supporters/members to power our local independent online news operation, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. Advertisers, members, and sponsors have no influence over our content. Advertisers, members, and donors have no involvement in news decisions and we do not give supporters the rights to assign, review, or edit content.
News judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support. Your trust is the cornerstone of What’s Up Newp’s success. We’ll always maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.
Members & Supporters
We accept financial support, grants, advertising, and sponsorship from individuals, organizations, and foundations to support our work. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions.
We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our crew, present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.
Effective as of August 1, 2023.
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