The Passing Scene: In Search of a (Better) Life

The boy was barely 10 years old. Wakened from his sleep. Told he was ‘going away’. Bundled onto a train. Then another. Jammed in with other kids of all ages. Hour after hour. Switch to another train. Endless. Arriving … somewhere. Stood on a stage with countless other kids. Grown-up Strangers looking at them. Staring. Pointing. Rejecting. A chosen kid leaves. Another. Then, his turn. Taken to a family with a boy his age. Sharing his bed. A chamber pot. It was the longest night of his life. in a life full of endless nights. 14 hours since he woke and heard those words ……….. Beside me as I write this is a copy of the Globe and Mail from… Read complete articleThe Passing Scene: In Search of a (Better) Life

Tourism Marketing Launched for 2018

At an event at the Cobourg Community Centre on Thursday, several Tourism marketing initiatives were presented.  Information intended to attract Tourists to Cobourg will be provided to locations across Ontario and the marketing material will have a new look with the focus on Experiences.  The Town’s Tourism web site (although still on line) will be superceded by a new one: ExperienceCobourg.ca – the idea is to not overdo the details and encourage visitors to get more detail at the web site.  At the program launch, a collection of Souvenirs produced by Hoselton Studios was unveiled.  These will be sold at Tourism centres in Cobourg; that is, at 1) the Tourism office in the Market Building behind Victoria Hall and 2)… Read complete articleTourism Marketing Launched for 2018

Update on Local Newspapers

On March 20th, a Town hall meeting was held at Victoria Hall on the subject of “what to do about the loss of a daily newspaper?”  The Town was supportive by waiving the Hall rental so organizer Rob Washburn reported back on Monday on what came out of it.  Rob said that there were about 150 attendees and that it “was an unqualified success”.  People were passionate about the subject and showed that they were interested in a wide range of topics: not just politics but also community organizations, cultural groups, and events. Since then news providers have expanded: Northumberland News has expanded, 89.7 FM is producing more news, Today’s Northumberland was recently created, the Burd report has started up… Read complete articleUpdate on Local Newspapers

Opinion: A New Beginning

And then it was gone. Just like that. In some spacious boardroom in one of Toronto’s claustrophobic towers, with the stroke of a few pens by some anonymous business people, no doubt followed by toasts with their beverage of choice, Northumberland Today, reduced to a few pages of legalese, was killed by people in suits from the Toronto Star and Postmedia, a newspaper itself on life support. As those pens scrawled across the contract, the history of Cobourg newspapers from as far back as 1831 was wiped out. In those few seconds, employees of Northumberland Today were cruelly and without any consideration tossed out onto the street. No job. No income. As the suits, without a care, raised their glasses…. Read complete articleOpinion: A New Beginning

Good Turnout at Town Hall on Local News

About 160 people were at the meeting in Victoria Hall tonight led by Rob Washburn.  When Rob introduced it he said that it was more a conversation than a meeting – no decisions were made but a lot of ideas were presented.  At the meeting I saw many political figures: Lou Rinaldi, John Henderson, Brian Darling, Aaron Burchat, David Piccini and Adam Bureau. During the meeting many of the local journalists and media representatives were there and spoke up – too many to name individually.  These included Northumberland News, SNAP, CHEX, My Broadcasting, FM89.7 as well as Social media: Now Network, Cobourg Media and Cobourg Internet.  Many in the audience spoke of many years of experience in newspapers or radio… Read complete articleGood Turnout at Town Hall on Local News

Reminder – Town Hall meeting on Local News

Hopefully most people in Cobourg know by now that a group has been formed to see if there is anything that can be done to replace the gap left by the shutdown of Northumberland Today.  Currently led by Professor of e-journalism Rob Washburn, a Public Town Hall meeting has been organized for Tuesday March 20th at 7:00pm in Cobourg’s Victoria Hall.  Rob asked Cobourg Council for support in the cost of that and Council approved his request on February 20.  Since this initiative started, there has been some activity online (see links below) but no printed replacement newspaper.  But is there demand for a daily printed paper?  What do people really want?  What are they prepared to pay for?  Come… Read complete articleReminder – Town Hall meeting on Local News

Town Hall meeting proposed re Local News

Many people in Cobourg and nearby areas were unhappy when Northumberland Today closed down. The weekly Northumberland News and various blogs (like this one) do not fill the big gap.  What’s needed is not just a daily coverage of all kinds of news but also coverage of community activities such as entertainment events, births, engagements, deaths and club meetings as well as local classifieds – preferably daily.  And of course multiple reporters (and others) were put out of work.  But John Miller, professor emeritus at Ryerson University School of Journalism and resident of Port Hope, wanted to do something. With the help of interested citizens and in particular, Rob Washburn, John got people discussing the issue.  John is “out of… Read complete articleTown Hall meeting proposed re Local News

Northumberland Today to Shut Down

A press release today reported that Torstar (owner of Northumberland News) and PostMedia (Owner of Northumberland Today) have swapped a collection of newspapers – mostly in Ontario. They also announced that most of the exchanged Newspapers will be shut down and although dates for ceasing publication are not clear, it was explicitly announced that Northumberland Today would be shut down “effective today”. In total, the closures will result in the loss of approximately 244 jobs. Since Northumberland News was not swapped and since it was not included in the papers to be shut down, it seems that the move is a way of consolidating in various markets so Cobourg will have only one newspaper and that will be Northumberland News…. Read complete articleNorthumberland Today to Shut Down