Thinking Out Loud

Recent Posts

Returning to the newsroom as a multimedia journalist

By Robert Washburn

Having just spent the last week working as a reporter for two different platforms, the experience was amazing. As always, it is through the experience something new is revealed. For two weeks I am reporting for both Northumberland Today and the community radio station Northumberland 89.7 FM. The newspaper’s managing editor generously supported the idea and the radio station is very accommodating.  Days are spent gathering news and by 4 p.m. I am delivering a 7-minute newscast that is recorded and repeated throughout the evening. Continue Reading →

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Personal memories of Canada’s first flag day

By Robert Washburn

As the Canadian flag’s 50th birthday is celebrated today, it is a wonderful opportunity to be filled with national pride. It is lovely to have a day to put aside all our difference, tensions and stresses as Canadians honour a symbol of our unity. When Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson decided to create a new national flag back in the 1960s, little did he know it would ignite a passionate debate. Amazingly, it also generated more than 6,000 contributions from ordinary Canadians wanting to contribute their vision. Despite all the acrimony, the red Maple Leaf on a white field with a red background was adopted. Continue Reading →

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County’s official plan shows archaic approach to economic development

By Robert Washburn

Farmer and businessman Paul Burnham is right to seriously question Northumberland County’s official plan when he asks why industrial parks are replacing good farmland. It is a sign the county’s economic development plan is antiquated and/or the planners don’t talk to economic development officers. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Globe and Mail union fights for all journalists, including those in communities

By Robert Washburn

As this is being written, the union representing Globe and Mail reporters and editors is heading back to the negotiating table to try and reach a deal after more than 90 per cent of its membership voted for a strike. One critical issue is a demand by management to get journalists to write advertorial content, meaning promotional material in the guise of a news-style story. The term used today is Brand Journalism. It is very popular in the marketing world and generates a lot of revenue for some publishers. It is unethical for journalists to write this content because it undermines journalistic independence and misrepresents what a journalist is suppose to do – tell the truth in a balanced, fair and unbiased manner. Continue Reading →

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