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OP ED: Community journalism matters now, more than ever

BurlingtonToday advisory board members help shape local coverage - and you can, too
The BurlingtonToday Community Advisory Group met recently to discuss local coverage.

Local news matters more today than ever.

Changes to how we stay on top of community news is happening at a rapid pace. Once reliable media outlets are shrinking. Knowing what sources to trust is becoming more difficult.

As we navigate this new reality, our vibrant city continues to grow and thrive - but with that comes challenges.

The team at BurlingtonToday is committed to ensuring our community stays on top of local news that matters. The good, and the not-so-good.

Part of that mandate has been to form a Community Advisory Board. The primary role of this group is to provide balanced and inclusive content guidance to BurlingtonToday’s editorial team. We’ve met twice this year and much of our discussions centred around what type of news content is needed in our community.

The volunteer board is made up of a diverse range of people who are actively involved in the community. They represent groups such as seniors, volunteers, young families, local businesses, not-for-profits and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) organizations. Members include Clinton Howell (chair), Angela Bellegarde, Scott Bridger, Francesca Durham, Ioana Popa, Merle Reedhead, Terry Scott, Maria Thornton and me. BurlingtonToday editor Brenda Jefferies and director of community relations for Village Media Abbas Homayed represent the news organization.

One of our board’s first “wins” was to assist in securing a new section that publishes local obituaries, free of charge. This is proving to be quite popular.

And while we have solid ideas about what news BurlingtonToday should cover, we want to hear from readers. What is missing? What do we need more of? What do we need less of?

The BurlingtonToday editorial team is lean and efficient. Crafting dozens of original articles a week takes time, so its critical resources are spent covering topics that matter. The team uses advanced data analysis to understand which articles are the most popular and most relevant to our readers, but hearing from the community will round out the numbers and help verify what the data says.

We want to know if you'd like to see:

  • More / less city hall coverage
  • More / less local sports coverage
  • More / less opinion and Op Ed 
  • More / less local school coverage
  • More/ less local business coverage
  • More / less community event coverage

Please take a few minutes to share your news preferences here.

And, if you haven’t already, please subscribe to BurlingtonToday’s daily newsletter here. It will land in your email inbox each day at 3 p.m.

Thanks for reading, subscribing and being active in our community. Local news matters. Let’s work together to communicate and share what’s happening in our city.

Jane Wilcox is a lifelong Burlington resident. She is the owner of Xposure PR, a communications firm that helps organizations share impactful stories.

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Jane Wilcox

About the Author: Jane Wilcox

Jane Wilcox is a lifelong Burlington resident. She is the owner of Xposure PR, a communications firm that helps organizations share impactful stories.
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