A comprehensive daily guide to local news – The Hub – has been launched as a public service for citizens of Northumberland County. The Hub (www.northumberlandhub.ca) is a website that links users to 15 sources of local news, including newspapers, online news sites, radio stations, and magazines. It is updated with links to stories every day, Monday to Friday.
The Hub is the product of eight months of community consultations carried out by a group of concerned citizens from Cobourg, Port Hope, and Hamilton Township. The group, which calls itself Local News Northumberland, was formed after the closure of the only local daily newspaper, Northumberland Today, last November.
Its consultations included a town hall meeting held in Cobourg in March attended by 160 citizens. That meeting affirmed that the availability of local news is considered by many to be essential to a healthy democracy.
“We were pleased to find that there are many providers of local news, but they’re difficult to find,” says John Miller, a resident of Hamilton Township and chair of LNN. “The Hub is our solution to that problem. It provides one-stop shopping and links users to everything that’s out there each day.”
Miller, a retired journalism professor at Ryerson University, said local news has become fragmented and no one provider has the resources to cover everything. “The Hub is intended as your signpost to all the news that’s being covered.”
Miller added: “Its launch now is timely since this is a municipal election year and voters need a convenient way to inform themselves of who’s running for office and what they stand for.”
The Hub is a collaboration between Local News Northumberland and Loyalist College Journalism and Communication program. It is an educational tool pointing to a wide spectrum of community news, including political and breaking news, event listings, births and obituaries, and human interest. Its aim is to help people locate and use local online news sources. And it’s free.
Cobourg Media is a contributor and sits on the Local News Northumberland board.