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Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Editorial: New year and renewed commitment to NOTL news
The Lake Report's weekly editorial.

Richard Harley and Kevin MacLean

Ah, the feeling of being refreshed after spending time with family for the holiday season. 

Now it’s a time for resolutions and renewal.

And The Lake Report is back after our annual two-week break to continue to bring Niagara-on-the-Lake the news that truly matters to readers.

We pride ourselves on giving you NOTL-centric content in print and online, stories you usually won’t find elsewhere. If it is not pertinent to NOTL, or the Niagara region, it’s not news to us.

You have other, long-established provincial and national news sources where you can find non-NOTL information.

We’re talking about this because the media landscape in NOTL appears to be shifting. We relish competition – it makes everyone better and, done well, benefits the community – and there’s a new competitor in town.

A large Canadian-owned online player has partnered with NOTL’s other newspaper and from what we can tell is now overseeing that paper’s website.

Normally, we would not bother to comment about such a development but several sharp-eyed readers have expressed consternation after they noticed the other paper’s website has re-published several stories that were first generated by The Lake Report.

That is odd and gratifying, but rather confusing to some. So let us explain: We have two reporters who were hired under the federal government’s Local Journalism Initiative, a national program aimed at supporting the growth of local news operations like ours.

As part of the program, any publication in Canada can re-publish stories or photos produced by journalists hired under the program.

So, it’s both flattering – and a bit weird, to be honest – that the website of a competitor is actually publishing (with the required full and proper credits, mind you) stories that our writers dig up. But it’s all in the spirit of spreading local news.

So, there you have it.

Unlike many news sites, however, we focus on NOTL, avoid filler, fluff and clickbait, will not publish government, police or any other press releases verbatim or without proper reporting, nor will we be posting stories from across the country or around the world.

We’ll leave that to others.

Whether you follow The Lake Report in print, online, on Facebook or Instagram, we resolve to keep bringing you hyperlocal content that you can’t find anywhere else. (Unless others choose to re-publish it, that is.)

To ensure we can carry on that mission, please remember, like any media outlet, we rely on our readers to keep us informed.

If it sounds like news to you, let us know. Big or small, community happenings, successes or problems, people deserving of recognition, milestones, important issues that need to be dug into …

If it’s about NOTL, we want you to be able to read about it in The Lake Report – first.

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