who are we?
ink-stainedwretches.org is a scrum of former Waterloo Region Record newsroom staffers.
In part, we formed out of frustration. For years we have lamented the decline of journalism and have felt helpless to do anything about it.
But while the situation has been getting worse for some time, and even more acute during the COVID-19 pandemic, we see reasons to be encouraged:
· As the novel coronavirus pandemic hammers an already hurting news industry, a recent poll indicated that two out of three Canadians agreed, or somewhat agreed, that the federal government should treat news media bankruptcies as an emergency.
· And although slow to follow through, the 2019 federal budget (p.173) announced government support for news outlets fitting the criteria of a Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization.
But one of the biggest pieces of good news is that we — ink-stained wretches, whether currently employed or alumni — form a huge pool of skilled communicators. And our potential to effect positive change is enormous!
So we set aside our frustration and have decided to act.
We have launched two campaigns:
· A petition on change.org;
· A campaign asking local councils to pass a resolution acknowledging that robust local news media are essential for democracy to thrive.
Please see details on our CAMPAIGNS page.
We are calling on our Record family — whether we work(ed) in the newsroom, classified or display advertising departments, circulation, composing/production, corporate offices or mailroom, or brought news to our neighbours by delivering papers after school or by braving ice-caked roads in the wee hours of the morning.
No matter where you work(ed), we are calling on members of our Record family to spend a few minutes to serve our community.
And we’re not just calling on our Record compatriots. Whether we work(ed) at The Record, other local papers (including the Cambridge Reporter or local weekly papers), CKCO-TV, CBC-KW, 570 News or any other local news gathering outfit, we are family. (Maybe cousins of varying distances, but family nonetheless.)
So we’re calling on our entire clan to help ensure our community continues to get reliable news now and for generations to come.
Note: We are NOT seeking NOR accepting donations.
We ask that you simply tell your councillors, mayors, MPPs, MPs, the prime minister and leaders of all political parties that you support actions to strengthen an ecosystem in which reliable local journalism can thrive.
Show your support however you choose: It can be something as simple as retweeting @InkStainedCamp tweets and tagging your local leaders. Check our RESOURCES page for more suggestions.
We’re not waxing nostalgic about a Golden Age of newspapers. We’re clear-eyed on the fact that journalism has always evolved and will continue to evolve. And we’re doing what we can to ensure the evolution is a positive one.
Please join us.
Mirko Petricevic, chief ink-stigator. Reporter, photographer, copy editor (1986-2014)
Christian Aagaard, reporter, columnist, deputy city editor (1990-2012)
Richard Brennan, political reporter, city editor
David Cooke, MPP, Kitchener, (1985-1990)
Chuck Howitt, reporter, copy editor, assistant city editor (1979-2013)
(Rev.) John Lougheed, Waterloo Region and Saugeen Shores.
Eugene McCarthy, reporter (1959-2002)
Carolyn McLeod-McCarthy, editorial graphic artist (1991-2012)
Cathy Miehm, online editor and copy editor (1997-2016)
Tom Nunn, business reporter (1984-1998)
Dave Pink, reporter, opinion and sports editor (1989-2012)
Robert Reid, arts reporter (1986-2015)
Barry Ries, reporter (1980-1994)