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The 6 o'clock news
A reminder of the importance of local journalism
Do you remember the 6 o’clock news being something that you scheduled your evening around at all? In my household, we often aimed to finish supper just in time for the news at six. The adults would then watch the local news while us kids cleaned up the dinner table. This of course, was long before the days where we hold all of the world’s news right in our pocket! While I’m glad we no longer need to carve out a specific time in our day to access local news, I worry that we are losing the value of local journalism. Recent legislation, such as the Online News Act, means access to Canadian news may become more challenging. So, I want to remind people of the many ways you can support local journalism and stay connected to local news. Learn more about this legislation and it’s potential impact in Josh Oliverio’s most recent episode of Political Debrief.
The first suggestion is perhaps the most obvious, and also the most essential - subscribe to the newspaper. While some folks still appreciate a physical copy of the newspaper, digital subscriptions are easy to access and generally quite affordable. I’m a big fan of newspapers and currently subscribe to the WR Record, the Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star.
There are also several free publications that are worth reading. The Kitchener Citizen is useful for staying up-to-date on local events and issues, and I particularly enjoy reading the Councillor updates each month. The Community Edition is also a wonderful resource!
Expanding outside of our Region specifically, I find TVO a terrific resource and while they don’t have a ‘subscription’, you can donate to their work. The Agenda is an informative show focusing on issues important to Ontarians where guests actually discuss the topic, rather than just talk over each other! And TVO kids was definitely a staple of my childhood. So much so, that I’m heading to Toronto this month to visit Myseum’s exhibit: From Mr. Dress Up to Degrassi.
It’s likely no surprise that I’m also a fan of Substack - given that’s the platform I use for Citified. There are many great newsletters worth following that focus on local issues such as: City Hall Watcher, The Evening Muse, Politico Tip Sheet, The Toronto History Weekly, and many more!
Did you know that you can also access newspapers and magazines through the Kitchener Public Library at no cost? Pressreader provides access to newspapers and magazines from around the world. Canadian Newsstream offers archived full-text articles from Canadian newspapers. You can access both through KPL.
Community radio is another great way to learn more about local issues, events, and discussions. We are fortunate to have many options for community radio in Waterloo Region, including: 98.5 CKWR, CKMS 102.7, and Midtown Radio. I have previously written about community radio, here.
While Meta and Google threaten easy access to local Canadian news, you can see there are a number of options to stay connected to local news. Feel free to add your favourite local news source in the comments below!