Nothing is more important to us than being hyper-local. Everything we do falls back to that approach. We also want input from the community to help guide that news coverage.
Since BurlingtonToday was launched back in November, our small but mighty newsroom has been working hard to cover the stories that matter to you: the stories of your neighbours, dedicated volunteers, city hall issues and local businesses. We have chronicled both the good and the bad, from the growing need at our food banks, police and crime, and burgeoning development to fundraisers, the success of our athletes, fundraisers...the list goes on.
And our readership is steadily growing — something that couldn't have happened without our loyal readers.
But we want to do more.
BurlingtonToday plans to strike an advisory board to include people from many sectors of the city to help us in our pursuit to be the best we can be and strengthen our role in the community.
The advisory board would be an informal body of citizens that our editorial team can use as a sounding board to help us make our coverage more relevant and inclusive to all parts of Burlington.
We are looking for six to 10 people from different segments of the community and from varied professional and personal backgrounds to provide new perspectives and people who represent a range of voices and diversity, including age, income, occupation, ethnicity, ability and gender. This does not include special-interest groups and political organizations.
Some areas we would like to draw from include the non-profit sector, well-known public figures, visible minorities, people from the news industry or with a journalism background, the business world, law enforcement, the youth sector and differently abled people, as well as health care and education professionals. And we want people with strong opinions.
You don’t need to be a member of an established organization, but you do need to be willing to share your opinions and engage respectfully with a diverse group of people focused on creating connections, forming partnerships, building bridges and exploring solutions.
The advisory board's mandate would be to provide unbiased insights and ideas from a third-party point of view. In short, we want to help build better relationships with people and groups whose information needs are not being met.
You’ll have the opportunity to write opinion pieces, collaborate on a series of articles and, potentially, a “town hall” event, as well as helping to ensure BurlingtonToday is covering the issues crucial to community progress.
We want to hear more voices about what we are doing right as well as highlighting areas where we could do better. Journalism is a craft and that means always learning and consistently wanting to improve.
We’re asking you to commit to attending three or four meetings in a one-year term — current public health guidelines will determine the format, but the plan is to hold our first meeting in person later this spring.
Those interested in applying can email me at [email protected] by Friday, April 14 highlighting your background and the reasons why you want to join the board.
We look forward to hearing from you. We are here to listen!
Brenda Jefferies is the editor at BurlingtonToday.