Community journalism is more important now than ever before

Alan Shackleton is the new editor of the Beach Metro Community News.

Hello Beach Metro Community News readers, let me introduce myself and say that I am thrilled to have been named editor of this outstanding community newspaper.

I have been in the journalism business for more than 30 years, and I am looking forward to bringing my experience to Beach Metro Community News.

I know the communities this newspaper covers well, having worked for the bulk of the past 18 years as an editor with other community papers in Scarborough, the Beach and East York.

So why have I decided to come out of an early and voluntary retirement to put myself back into the community newspaper business?

Believe me, I’ve asked myself that question and so has my family.

While I have missed the excitement of deadline days, breaking news stories, and all the hustle and bustle of a newsroom, the reason for coming back is my strong belief that this is a critical time for good community journalism.

I believe journalism is in my blood, and having had some time to reflect recently on what it is I want to do with the rest of my working life it became clear to me that this is what I should be doing.

And in a world in which fake news has now become an accepted reality, social media platforms pass themselves off as legitimate and credible news reporting organizations, and click bait is sadly the first goal of far too many newsrooms, good journalism is vitally important.

And I feel it is especially important at the community news level, which is what I have dedicated myself to for most of my journalism career.

We are the news organizations that are closest to our readers, and we are the only ones who are going to be reporting the stories that are of direct importance to you and your neighbourhood.

Local news is at the heart of strong democracies and strong communities.

It helps all of us know what’s going on, both the good news and the bad; gives us the opportunity to celebrate success, get to know our neighbours, right wrongs if necessary and keep those in positions of power accountable to us.

And that needs to be done in a responsible, non-partisan manner which treats everyone fairly and with respect.

I have always admired the Beach Metro for its dedication to serving its community, and I aim to continue and expand upon that in my role as editor.

With that being said, I’m looking forward to getting better acquainted with Beach Metro readers, columnists and contributors.

Please feel free to email me with your comments, concerns and story ideas at alan@beachmetro.com


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