Adam Donaldson is happy to tweet sometimes trivial details of Guelph City Council meetings.
In fact, he would like to do more.
But running your own political blog isn’t lucrative, so it has to work some other job to be able to continue doing its Guelph Politico Passion Project.
It receives donations from community members through Patreon, a crowdfunding website where artists and writers get paid for the work they do. But that’s not enough to make it his full-time job.
It’s an interesting place Donaldson finds himself: he became a staple for political coverage for many in Guelph after the Guelph Mercury daily closed in January 2016. It is the first municipal election since that time. closing and Donaldson says he can see a difference.
There are media options in the city of over 130,000 people. But Donaldson says with the emergence of independent outlets and groups that look to social media to advance agendas, the baseline for neutral news sources that existed with a daily is now becoming blurry.
“I think we’ve seen a few different groups appear that are selling a narrative about takeovers and leftist lists and all that. And that stuff gets away from the issues themselves. This is partisan politics. which is supposed to be non-existent at the city level, ”he said.
Invest in local media
About a week ago Donaldson attended an all-candidate debate at Guelph City Hall. The Guelph Mercury-Tribune reporter at the event broadcast the event live, but received criticism as the quality was sometimes not great.
Donaldson pointed out that council chambers have cameras installed, but they are owned by Rogers, who did not broadcast the debate.
On Twitter, Donaldson called both Rogers and Torstar, owner of the Guelph Mercury-Tribune. He said the two media companies do not invest in local media.
He also noted that people cannot expect to get the news for free.
“The people of Guelph seem to be very reluctant to invest in media themselves, so why should traditional media companies do it? he wrote. “Shouldn’t anyone who does the job of covering up the board and holding them be paid?”
In the same thread, he also admitted that he had recently debated whether to shut down his blog due to the costs.
“At the moment, I can’t even afford my time,” he tweeted.
I want to congratulate @topherseto and the @MercuryTribune for the live broadcast of the mayor’s debate tonight. They laughed a lot online about the quality, but it’s worth remembering that @RTVGuelph has bedroom wired for live TV show. Why didn’t they do it?
And speaking as someone who has been trying to fundraise from the community for almost three years, why would they do it. The people of Guelph seem to be very reluctant to invest in media themselves, so why should traditional media companies do it?
“You can be more engaged”
He says people can complain on social media, but if they want local media coverage, they have to demand it.
“I think what people have to overcome is that you can be more engaged. You don’t have to sit passively,” he said in an interview with the host of The Morning. Edition Craig Norris while sitting on the benches outside. city Hall.
Local issues are so important to him, Donaldson said, because what happens at the city level has a direct impact on people.
Not all topics are sexy, he said. Sometimes it is a new manual for building form standards. People might find it boring, but he notes that if a 14-story building goes up in your neighborhood, then people care.
“Like, nine of the 10 things that will affect you every day: how you get to work, if your garbage is picked up, where you play, where you do your shopping, a myriad of problems, where you park downtown It’s decided just inside these doors by the 13 people around the horseshoe and we need someone here, ”Donaldson said.