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Back in the saddle: reflections on my recent stint at Northumberland Today

By Robert Washburn

It is incredibly important to keep active in journalism both as an educator and as a professional journalist. It is great  having a bi-weekly column. Still, grabbing a notepad, dialling a phone, doing interviews and so forth, it is vital to remain relevant and credible in front of students. It is truly amazing the number of times there is pause for thought on the way newsrooms are changing. It is not nostalgia causing the hesitation, but a sense of how journalism practice, ethics, management, and community are transforming. Continue Reading →

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A moment for MacMillan

By Robert Washburn

There are some people in a community who are so important, yet they never hold an elected office or head some big company or become the executive director of an organization. These people rise to prominence because of their character – because of who they are and what they contribute. Tom MacMillan was one of those people. MacMillan died last night. He was 78. Continue Reading →

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Politicians need better ways to consult public, less theatre

By Robert Washburn

Northumberland MP Rick Norlock was pretty busy last week racing around meeting with interest groups and residents around the upcoming federal budget as part of a series of public consultations in Campbellford and Cobourg. However, the federal government is not the only one asking the public for its input on budgets. Municipal councils throughout Northumberland will be hunkering down over stacks of reports and spreadsheets working with sharp pencils trying to figure out how much they will need to collect for 2013. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Can’t miss opportunity to rate Northumberland Hills Hospital

By Robert Washburn

The CBC is doing some first-rate journalism around health care in Canada right now. One feature sticks out as an unbeatable opportunity for residents of the county to give some candid feedback on Northumberland Hills Hospital. The crazy part is nobody has done this. As part of its investigation, a Rate My Hospital feature is located on the CBC News website, allowing anyone to comment on how they were treated. Things like respect, communication, timeliness, cleanliness and whether or not you would recommend the hospital are measured. Continue Reading →

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Dusting ourselves off to make a point

In light of a recent proposal by Deputy Mayor Stan Frost to change Cobourg council’s meeting time to 4 p.m., rather than leaving it at 7 p.m., Consider This is inspired to take action. Citizen journalist Scott Lamberton is generously donating his time for the next few Monday nights to live blog council meetings once again. He was a central contributor during the hyperlocal project in 2010 – 2011. There are several reasons for this. First, it is the job of journalism to be a watchdog. Continue Reading →

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