Local journalism in Canada needs a boost

Bob Cox, chair of the Canadian Newspaper Association and publisher of the The Winnipeg Free Press, has just published an impressive article on local journalism in the latest issue of Media Development, a publication run by the World Association for Christian Communication.

In the article, Cox argues that local media are the active watchdogs that democratic communities need to stay healthy.

"Newspapers like the Free Press, founded 144 years ago, have become so much a part of the fabric of their communities that they are taken for granted by many of the people who depend on them," he writes. "[But] people do not realize traditional local news media are rapidly disappearing."

As well, he writes that "multiple, healthy outlets are needed to provide a variety of versions of events, views and even alternate methods of coverage. For communities to thrive, you need an unruly rabble of news media outlets poking and prodding, asking the mayor questions about public tendering policies or unearthing expense accounts that show a college president billed taxpayers for her golf shoes."

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