There are three things about the Glebe Report that have really impressed me.
First, it is the paper of record for the community. The entire archive going back to June 17, 1973 is available at glebereport.ca/Archives.
All the important events and changes to this lively and historic community are recorded there as well as opinions and debates on important issues. For four decades, the Glebe Community Association, founded even earlier than the Glebe Report, and the Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group (congratulations on your anniversary!) have used this well-read paper to let everyone know of their projects and to explain and discuss their positions.
Think of all the things that have been saved through community action, partly as a result of being able to get the message out: the Glebe Community Centre, Sunnyside Library, Mutchmor School, the wading pool, to name just a few. Likewise schools, businesses, local churches, the City of Ottawa staff at the GCC, and cultural and leisure organizations of all sorts have relied on this paper as a means to reach Glebe residents. There has also been a special feature for most elections with all the candidates (at least those who can meet a deadline) presented to the public for consideration. I’m singing praises here on behalf of a very large group of people. This brings me to the second reason I’m so impressed. The number of volunteers involved is remarkable. Check out pages 4 and 5 of any issue and count up the staff and volunteer deliverers.
All the writers, artists and photographers you see in each issue also contribute their work gratis. Many are professionals, happy to give something to the community. Others are first-timers, thrilled and nervous to let the public see their work.
The paper is also online: glebereport.ca. You can keep in touch wherever you travel or however much you are glued to your laptop. But most of us still want to have the paper copy as well to share and discuss.
Looking back to the early days of the Glebe Report when I contributed recipes and the occasional column, through the years as layout assistant, board member and eventually editor, I come to reason number three. What fun it was! Such interesting people! The laughter and drama! If you haven’t had an encounter with the Glebe Report yet, give it a try. I highly recommend it.
Because this is your local paper, you have a chance to express yourself about the topics that most interest you. Other media outlets might not be interested in your concerns or may choose not to print your letters because they don’t fit with what they consider relevant. But what affects our everyday lives is the most relevant news, and the material most suitable of all for discussion. At a time when there are concerns about the erosion of a meaningful participation in the democratic process, community newspapers offer us a chance for genuine discourse and the opportunity to make a difference.