By DESMOND BROWN
The Beach Metro News is the heart and soul of our community. It’s a newspaper we are all proud of and can call our own.
Since 1972 we have covered stories that are important to our neighbourhoods and affect our lives.
There’s something special about reading stories and seeing photos of people we actually know! Local community stories are the foundation of wider media coverage across our city and the country.
We witnessed this when national and international media outlets picked up the story initially published in Beach Metro News about the fox family living under the Boardwalk.
Our little newspaper continues to lead the way by breaking big stories. Our reporter Ali Raza, who was recently hired by Beach Metro News through the Local Journalism Initiative, had four of his stories first seen in our paper, published in their entirety by the Toronto Star, our country’s largest newspaper.
These stories included the anti-racism graffiti on the construction site at the Michael Garron Hospital in East York after nooses were found in an attempt to intimidate Black construction workers; a new affordable modular housing development proposed for the Victoria Park and Danforth area; Toronto’s $4 million proposal to help small businesses along Danforth by creating more public spaces ; and our city’s response to boost local businesses with initiatives to expand outdoor patio space amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Like most small businesses, our Beach Metro News has faced challenges during this pandemic as well.
We are a non-profit organization and rely heavily on advertising revenue. As businesses that usually advertised with us either struggled to survive or closed down, our bottom line suffered as well.
As you’re aware, our free paper is distributed to you by our community volunteers. I want to thank the dozens of residents who responded to my appeal in a recent edition and purchased voluntary subscriptions to Beach Metro News.
Your financial support is much appreciated and needed. For those of you who have not yet purchased a subscription, please see the form on Page 2 and contribute whatever you feel the Beach Metro News is worth to you.
We are proud that we have not had to lay off any of our staff during this provincial state of emergency and want to continue to bring you the stories that affect our community.
For us to continue to do this, we still need your help!
Desmond Brown is the volunteer president of the Beach Metro News Board of Directors. He is a local realtor and former reporter with CTV News, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, and Toronto Star.