On 27 November 2017, Northumberland Today shut down and left a big gap in local News coverage in Cobourg and Northumberland. Although Northumberland News continued, it only publishes once a week so the rest of the week was left without any coverage. So John Miller started a group to see what could be done. The first step was a Town Hall meeting on 20 March 2018 which 160 people attended. Since John was away, Rob Washburn stepped in to lead discussion. Although it was apparent that most people wanted a restoration of a daily printed newspaper, it was apparent that the only option was some form of online service. Fifteen sites were identified as providing local news so the concept of a “News Hub” was developed.
The intent was to help people find these sites and then go to their favourite directly. The idea was implemented with a new web site (www.northumberlandhub.ca ) and a new subscription mailing list that would provide daily highlights from the hub but with links directly to the source sites. The service started September 2018 but has now announced that it will shut down February 15, 2019.
Unfortunately, visitor statistics plus a survey showed that “the need for these tools has faded”. In addition the group’s resources have dwindled. In the 4 months since October, the work on this project was done by a student of the Loyalist College Journalism and Communications program. The grant, which covers this person’s salary, has run out.
The site will continue for at least several months but everyone is encouraged to bookmark their own favourite news source (I’d suggest you’ll need several). Northumberland News is also working towards providing online daily coverage.
You can see the main online news sources at this link. These sites vary in what they do; for example most cover all of Northumberland. Most also survive on advertising and a few accept donations.
- New web site helps fill news gap – 4 Sept 18
- Good Turnout at Town Hall on Local news – 20 March 2018
- Northumberland Today to shut down – 27 Nov 2017