New Web site Helps Fill News Gap

On March 20, a Town Hall meeting was held to get input on what should be done to meet the needs of people in Northumberland for Local News. (See links below for more on this meeting).  Led by John Miller with significant help from Rob Washburn, a small committee was formed to do something.  It adopted the name Local News Northumberland and decided that an online comprehensive daily guide to local news was needed.  At Cobourg Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting tonight, Rob explained how a “Hub” or “signpost” web site is being provided to point to where News stories can be found.  Fifteen news sources have been identified and each day the headlines and lead photo from new stories are listed on this new site called Northumberland Hub.  https://www.northumberlandhub.ca/

Rob Washburn and the Hub
Rob Washburn and the Hub

The photo at right is of Rob Washburn when he spoke to the citizens at the  March Town Hall meeting.  The graphic at the bottom of the photo is the new logo of the group – “Local News Northumberland”.

The intent is to help people find the available news sources – as such it is more of an education exercise and not intended to compete in any way with the existing news sources.  In fact, it is hoped that the traffic on those sites will increase as more people find them.

There is no advertising and donations are not solicited.  This is a not-for-profit activity.

You can also sign up to a mailing list and receive an email daily that lists a selection of news items on the site.  In addition to links to the latest news, there are also links to obituary notices, birth notices and event calendars.

All work collating the information on the site and in the email is done manually – it is not automated. Currently the work is done by Rob and Karine Ewart but will soon be delegated to a student.

In his Press Release, John Miller summarizes with:

The Hub is a collaboration between Local News Northumberland and Loyalist College Journalism and Communication program. It is an educational tool pointing to a wide spectrum of community news, including political and breaking news, event listings, births and obituaries, and human interest. Its aim is to help people locate and use local online news sources. And it’s free.

The next steps for Local News Northumberland is to spread the word – John Miller will address other Northumberland Councils over the next few weeks (including Port Hope also tonight).

In his presentation, Rob asked that the Town include a link to the new Hub on the Town’s web site and help publicize it.  In response to questions, Rob said that no “opinion blogs” are included now nor would they be included in the future. Rob emphasized that the site does not generate any original content – he hoped that users would find their favourite sites and bookmark them.  Success would be measured by an increase in traffic at the source news sites.  Reviews would be held in December 2018 and April 2019 and it’s hoped that the site’s goals of directing people to helpful news sites would be achieved and the “Hub” would then be shut down.

Links

Northumberland News – Newspaper
Port Hope Now – News web site *
Cobourg Now – News web site *
Brighton Now – News web site *
Trent Hills Now – News web site *
Crahame Now – News web site *
Today’s Northumberland – Pete Fisher’s News Web site
Go Northumberland – Radio Station News page
Northumberland 89.7 FM News – Radio Station News page
Snapd West Northumberland – Newspaper
Watershed Magazine – Magazine
Cobourg News Blog – This site
Consider This – News Blog by Rob Washburn
CHEX Global TV News – Peterborough – TV News page
Cobourg Media News – Graham Beer News Web site

 

* News Now Network operated by Jay Robinson.

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Gary

A noble effort. Have signed up for the newsletter. Hopefully will be shared widely, folks can find that info that they have been missing. Newspapers are unlikely to be resurrected.

Kyle

It seems filling in the news gaps doesn’t help local online hews outlets who do not tow the line. Pete Fisher’s Today’s Northumberland is shut out by Cobourg Police for reporting on issues they obviously what to supress from getting out to the public. Is the future of local media going to be based solely on regurgitating sanitized self serving media releases?