Local news more essential than ever: A message from the publisher

By Roderick Benns

As journalists, we tend to see our community in stories.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re more aware than ever that our community has amazing stories worth sharing.

There’s the story of our front line health care workers, who are the linchpins of this fight. Their courage is evident day after day as they put others’ needs first.

There’s the story of our vulnerable loved ones in long-term care and retirement homes, who hope to once again spend time with their families.

Roderick Benns, publisher.

There’s the fact that our local politicians are in uncharted waters, navigating an emergency on a scale they’ve never witnessed.

Anxious small business owners have stories, too — women and men who thrive on their connection with all of us and who fear for their livelihood and their employees’ well-being.

We see parents without work and we see children without school.

We know there are seniors in their homes who can’t leave — and that there are ordinary heroes who are checking in on them and helping them get by.

We see all of these stories and more but it’s hard to get to everyone.

The more resources we have, the more assignments we can give to our amazing writers to do this kind of essential journalism.

We don’t want to run the latest press releases — we want to keep reporting, analyzing, and digging deeper.

But as you know, it costs money to do good journalism.

The Advocate — the community’s New Business of the Year as named by our local Chamber of Commerce — is now a truly multimedia local company. The Advocate is now three things, all working together: an online platform, a glossy, monthly magazine, and The Advocate Podcast: Stories from Kawartha Lakes. (The latter we can do, thanks to our podcast sponsor, Wards Lawyers of Lindsay.) In all these ways, we serve our community to the best of our ability.

Ever since we launched the Advocate more than two years ago, people have regularly stopped us on the street to say how much they love what we’re doing. I appreciate those moments very much. As a kid growing up in Lindsay in the 70s and 80s, I always knew I wanted to be a writer. To be able to make a meaningful contribution to my community through the best local journalism we can possibly do means a lot to me. We make our magazine freely available because we believe it’s the right and equitable thing to do. We’re able to do that, overall, because of the support of our small businesses.

These same people — people like you — have told me they share our values of putting people and their social wellness first.

We see this now with the COVID-19 pandemic — people are realizing that it’s our society that matters most. Equity, human connection, and well-being are more important than ever – and certainly more important than tax breaks for corporations.

How you can help

Today we’re launching Team Advocate. We sometimes use that phrase to talk about what our own team does but we realize now that Team Advocate is really much bigger than that – it’s all of you who have helped us thrive as readers and as community partners.

If you find value in what we do, consider joining our local movement today with a small monthly contribution. It doesn’t need to be a lot because every little bit helps. And by that I mean $3 a month, $10 a month or whatever you think is fair to get top quality local news. The fact that you support the Advocate will be acknowledged with your name printed in the Advocate magazine and on the website (if you wish).

We are not a large corporation or part of a big chain, like other media. We are an all-local media outlet whose writers and editors live and work right here in Kawartha Lakes — and we have chosen from the very beginning to focus exclusively on Kawartha Lakes news. You won’t find filler columns from us written by people in other cities.

We are not a charitable organization so while we can’t provide a tax receipt, my pledge to you is that your monthly support will go straight to sustaining our people in their work.

By being a part of Team Advocate, you help ensure the best local news is powered by people like you — our community of readers and small businesses. Your support ensures we can do an even better job of providing in-depth local news — and keep it open and free of charge for everyone who lives here. No registration required.

With a little more financial support we can pay our writers better, do more stories, do more stories in other parts of Kawartha Lakes, and subsidize the work of helpful summer students. We also pledge to provide more regular coverage of city council and school board.

We’re committed to telling the stories that help us understand life in Kawartha Lakes.

We’re committed to our community and to people like you.

Join our movement today by making a small monthly contribution to ensure our genuinely local news just gets better, richer, and stronger.

These are challenging times but we’ll get through this together. Thank you for supporting the Advocate!

1 Comment

  1. John Brooks says:

    Thank you for local information, very helpful at a time we need it.

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