Or should it be “Getting News in the 21st century”? For a century or so, the way to get news was from a daily newspaper but newspapers are gradually going out of favour and instead there are multiple online sources. But it seems people are lazy and want all their news to come from one source – just like a newspaper was expected to have all the news. Some rely on Facebook or Google to collect all their news on one page – more on that below – and others rely on a portal like Yahoo news. But the only sure way is to look at multiple on-line sources: multiple sites and multiple newsletters. In this post, I will review what’s available in Cobourg and include some news you could have had earlier if you had been following my advice.
News you might have missed
Today’s Northumberland is an active web site with Pete Fisher as its main reporter. His latest story is that the Henley Arcade Friday night gathering of drug addicts has finally been shut down. Pete reported on this late Friday – well before anyone else (go here)
He also reported on an incident on 31 August on King Street outside Victoria Hall where a drug user told a councillor “fuck you – I fucking want to kill you.” See Pete’s report here.
As of September 2nd, these news items were not published anywhere else – the lesson to be learned, make Today’s Northumberland one of your favourite web sites (bookmark or favourite).
Other Cobourg News Sources
I have created a page that lists all Cobourg’s news web sites – go here. It also indicates which sources have newsletters.
The bad news is that getting news is no longer as simple as reading a daily newspaper or even simply relying on a single online source. You have to work at it.
An alternative view on news from Facebook and Google
Note: the following includes my opinion so is not 100% a reporting of facts.
If you have been following the National news, you will know that the Trudeau Government is trying to force Facebook and Google to pay large newspaper publishers $234M per year. The reasoning is that Facebook and Google benefit from content by newspaper publishers when they link to their online news articles. It’s not the entire content that Facebook and Google “steal”, just a link to a sentence. In my opinion, this is backwards – it’s the newspapers that benefit from the links because of the additional traffic created for their web sites. If anything, the newspapers should pay Google and Facebook! But in the world of web sites, no-one ever pays for a link – it’s the way the Internet works. I don’t pay Pete Fisher because I linked to his stories and he does not pay me for the additional traffic I direct to his site.
Since Facebook gets very little value for providing links to news publishers, it has elected to stop news publishers linking from their facebook pages to their news sites.
Right now, if you go to the Facebook pages of local news publishers, you get a mostly blank page. As well, you see this note:
People in Canada can’t see this content
In response to Canadian government legislation, news content can’t be viewed in Canada.
Here’s a list of affected local Facebook pages:
- Northumberland News (owned by Torstar – publisher of the Toronto Star)
- Today’s Northumberland
- YourTV Northumberland (Cogeco)
- Northumberland 89.7 FM Small Town Radio
- MyFM – Radio Stations 93.3 FM and 107.9 FM
- Consider This – by Robert Washburn
My page and Graham Beer’s page (Cobourg Media) are not affected presumably because they don’t link to a news web site and mine is virtually blank anyway.
If Trudeau wanted to get Facebook and Google to subsidize traditional news publishers, then he could simply tax them then give the money to the publishers. That’s really what he’s trying to do.
A note about Comments
Anyone commenting is encouraged to first read the rules of commenting on this page. The rules are mostly common sense.
To stay on topic on this post, you can comment about the Henley Arcade drug site shutdown, the Facebook news issue, or getting news in Cobourg.
Update – 4 September
On 89.7 FM, Robert Washburn interviewed Northumberland County CAO Jennifer Moore and social service director Lisa Horne on September 1 about what was happening on the encampment issue from their perspective. Not much new information but confirms some details. Go here. [Thanks to a couple of readers for the pointer].