Does Orillia Matter to You?

Here it is, not even the last day of October yet ... when we should still be having sun, and bright colourful leaves, and days with that slightly brisk, yet fresh, air. But what to do we have? We have this.

The first real "stay on the ground for a while" snowfall in Orillia - Oct. 28th, 2018.
Oct. 28, 2018 - Orillia Snowfall
We've had a few flakes here and there over October, but they were the kind you really had to look hard to see; nothing that stuck to the ground or anywhere else, so I suppose this is the first "real" snow of the season here.

But, that's not really what I wanted to talk to you about today. I wanted to talk about our local newspaper ... yeah, again.  Partly because I think that it's important to support local ventures, and there aren't many places now that we can go to find out local news or events.

Does anyone out there remember this? Yup, our paper that got trashed by TorStar. That's where we used to go for information - not just news, but all kinds of local tidbits. Things like items for sale; garage sales; real estate listings; apartments for rent; births and deaths; coming events and programs; and yes, of course even the news, some local, a bit of national and international.

When that was gone, we had nothing.

The staff had no jobs (and yeah, that happens to more than just a newspaper when it closes - when business ends, the employees are jobless).

That isn't just the editorial staff, or reporters and photograhers, but all the office staff, sales staff, and even the folks who delivered the newspapers. No job and no paycheque for all of them.

Some of the staff got together pretty quickly and created the online newspaper - which is "published" and updated frequently, not just daily, but sometimes hourly. We have local news again thanks to them.

How many of you out there are reading them again? I'm sure those who read the paper version of The Packet will recognize some of the names on Orillia Matters. How many of you have taken the time to sign up for a paid subscription?  Because ... how else do they get a paycheque out of their work?  And yeah, creating a viable online news site is work; the reporters still do what reporters do (no, they aren't sitting behind a computer console all day either). You think it's just the advertising that supports them?

Advertising helps of course (thank you to the local business' who pay to advertise on the paper), but a paid subscription shows not only that you want to support our local news financially, it means you support the people who are providing that service to us, and that you appreciate their efforts (and I think that thought, in and of itself,  has an emotional impact on the people who do this work), and that you want to help keep business growing in Orillia.

And for the record, no, I am not related to anyone who works at Orillia Matters, and I am not personal friends with anyone at Orillia Matters. I just really appreciate the fact that these people stepped up to the plate to thumb Orillia's nose at TorStar and show them that we're not a city to be ignored, and not a city that gives up without a fight.

If you read them online, please think about supporting them. I would hate to see them close down for lack of interest, or equally as bad, institute a paywall.

(On a side note ... I wish they had named it something else. In my head I call it "The New Packet" but I'm pretty sure TorStar would have sued over that name but Orillia Matters sounds distinctly political to me ... maybe something more like "The Orillia Local" or something.)