Time flies when you’re having fun.
It’s hard to believe that 43 years ago, in mid-April, I was starting my first job as a reporter-photographer for a small community weekly – in the Coldwater, Ont., bureau of the Orillia Journal.
That was the first stop on a community news career that saw me work at more than a half-dozen small, medium and large papers in jobs ranging from reporter to editor-in-chief.
Now, I’m embarking on a new journey, working with the young, energetic and talented staff of The Lake Report.
Despite spending more than two decades in a variety of senior editing positions at Canada’s largest newspaper, the Toronto Star, community papers remain close to my heart.
My wife May Chang and I were NOTL “weekenders” for almost 15 years and in 2018 built a new home in Chautauqua, a wonderfully eclectic corner of town. Over the years we have made dozens of remarkable new and lasting friendships. That’s the kind of town NOTL is.
This also is a great place to be a journalist – or a reader. NOTL proves regularly there is no shortage of news in small towns. And no shortage of a need for an independent and committed community medium to keep an eye on things – be they issues of politics, development or goings-on around town. The good, the bad, the interesting, the offbeat and everything in between.
I have closely watched The Lake Report since its inception last spring and helped out periodically over the past couple of months when my part-time job teaching journalism at Ryerson University has permitted.
Launching a newspaper when the traditional media business model is in tatters takes guts. Ensuring it succeeds takes tons of hard work, but more importantly, readers and advertisers willing to support it. The Lake Report has that in spades.
I believe this paper already has shown it has the heart, pride and desire to bring the best and most diverse hyper-local news and features to you, the residents of NOTL.
Let’s enjoy the journey together. It’ll be fun.