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Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Letter: Congrats to The Lake Report for a job well done

Dear editor:

Having recently moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake, and finding myself contemplating the prospect of retirement, I decided to start a podcast series called “BOOM! We broke it, let’s fix it,” wherein I challenge BoomXers (Boomers and Xers) “to deliver on the big ideas needed to save the world by 2035.”

Consequently, I interview guests to share their big ideas and calls to action on a variety of topics.

My most recent interview was with White House correspondent Brian Karem, discussing his thesis that the media model is broken, in which he calls on his 38 years of reporting to frame the problem, and then to share his thoughts on prospective remedies.

The discussion drew heavily on the substance of his recent book “Free the Press: The death of American journalism and how to revive it.”

He made the point that in the United States there is a newspaper “desert” in most communities – the result of media consolidation that effectively kills local news and commentary.

I believe the same to be substantively true in Canada, where hundreds of community newspapers have closed in the last decade.

However, I found myself telling Karem that I am fortunate enough to live in a community well-served by a community newspaper, The Lake Report.

That in my short time here I had been impressed not only by the quality reporting, but that within earshot each week I heard the newspaper being talked about.

As Karem notes, such papers are incubators for young journalists and thus play a vital role in the media ecosystem. He also notes that most national stories start at the local level – which only works if there is pressing investigative reporting at that level.

As I reflected on my discussion with Karem, I realized that The Lake Report is as good as it gets in North America, and that we are lucky to be served by such a strong voice, one that as the rare standout that it is, deserves the support of the community.

So this really amounts to a thank-you note – for a job very well done.

Bob Westrope