General News

Let’s get the introductions out of the way, shall we?

June 7, 2018   ·   0 Comments


About 10 years ago, when I was a writer for the Ottawa Sun, we were all brought into a boardroom for a presentation whipped up by the boys from HQ.

There we were bombarded with slides and graphs and pie charts and all sorts of numbers that predicted the extinction of print newspapers much sooner than later. One of these guys had ever actually worked for a newspaper, but they were the experts.

There’s no argument that the internet and social media and new ways to find news for free have wreaked havoc on our industry, but so has the attitude that print can’t be successful. If you keep saying it, you’re going to believe it. And if you believe it, you’re going to help it come true.

Then there is the other side. These are the men and women who own and run community newspapers because they believe in their importance to communities. They try to hire well and run lean operations, while the employees put their backs into it, usually working extra hours in the evening and weekends for nothing more than getting the job done right.

I guess now would be an appropriate time for us to get to know each other.

I’ve been a journalist for a long time, writing for both dailies and community papers. Most recently, I was the editor of three weekly publications in the London area, which is where I still live with my wife and dog. A few months ago, Torstar and Postmedia closed many of their newspapers down. My three were among them.

The fellow that hired me in London is now the general manager of this paper and many others in the area. With the editorial leadership of the Caledon Citizen still somewhat in flux, he asked if I might be interested in helping out for the next little while until the waters calmed a bit. After all, there are enormous shoes to step into here. When you consider the legacy of Bill Rae, it’s clear you need to find the right person, not just the first one.

And so, as the son of a newspaper man with ink in my own veins, I’m humbled to pick up the baton and run with it until it’s time to rightfully pass it on to someone even more deserving.

Until then, we have a provincial election to cover, one that promises a tight finish. The fallout from that could be massive for Ontarians, especially if one party manages to gain a majority, which appears to be a longshot with the finish line now upon us.

My guess is either the Tories or NDP will eke out a win, but much will depend on where tired Liberal voters turn. Those who aren’t hard and fast on the left or the right will likely decide who will govern us until a new election is forced upon us sooner rather than later.

It would be shocking for Dufferin-Caledon if Sylvia Jones didn’t get a ticket back to Queens Park, but which side of the floor she’ll be sitting on is will only be known late Thursday night.

As the saying goes, “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”



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