Getting to know my neighbours, one story at a time…

I’ve been quiet here because I’ve been busy making noise elsewhere in my technical writing studies and freelance work. In between all that, I’ve been having fun writing for our community paper, the Kitchissippi Times.11201893_867439863312499_6178552581882872773_n

The Kitchissippi Times is a popular purveyor of community news and events, history, personality profiles, and photography. It reflects life in three of Ottawa’s most vibrant, creative and historic communities: Westboro, Wellington West and Hintonburg.

I love that it’s a print publication, and not just online. It’s a tangible thing you can pick up at the local cafe or community centre and take home to show your family and friends.

It’s especially exciting if you make the cover of KT, and thanks to poet Pearl Pirie for sharing this photo of her recent cover story. (I will be sharing Pirie’s poetry in a future post.)

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Not all community papers are this good, but “KT” is artfully (and lovingly) put together by editor Andrea Tomkins, with contributions from local writers and photographers.

As a writer who has interviewed all kinds of interesting people across Canada (and all the way to Bosnia), it’s been a revelation to talk to people from my own community: an immigrant starting her own business, a poet launching her new book, teachers and students celebrating a successful music program, and an energetic-vegan-athlete-coach inspiring everyone she meets (including me!).

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I’ve discovered a seemingly endless stream of inspiring stories in my own backyard, stories that start out small but end up being about something big: triumph over adversity, achieving dreams, and building community.

In a world where the news we consume is increasingly owned by large corporations, and dominated by celebrity culture, community papers are the voice of people you won’t hear anywhere else.

It is important to tell our (own) stories.

Don’t you think?

9 comments

  1. Hello Anne, so great to see you back!!! Happy to hear you are busy with all these interesting projects. This local newspaper is gorgeous and lovely. World news is important but local news is equally and it affects your own personal life. I love reading local and personal stories..done in a positive and non-gossip way. And sharing my parts of my life on my blog is great too…I love the feedback I get and the encouragement.
    I also love your new layout of your blog..Penguins forever! Such an interesting post and I am so happy to see you back! xo Johanna

    • Hi Johanna! Thanks, I’m glad you like the layout: this penguin cover is one of my favourites…a book I picked up at a second-hand shop years ago.

      I think that the rise in blogging has to do with people wanting to share stories, simply because the mainstream media is so fixated on celebrity & “hard news”. I love reading about people’s personal journeys — especially yours! 😉

  2. I love community newspapers… they seem to be full of good news, not the bad news that dominates the mainstream papers… ‘and human interest… is the best sort of news, I think…

    Your local newspaper looks fascinating.. and obviously has talented experienced writers – which makes all the difference …

    The other thing I love about local news is that it actually makes community and puts people in touch with each other as though we still live in a caring village…

    Shall look forward to reading more on this fascinating blog…

  3. What a good point you make about the importance of local community papers expressing something authentic and meaningful, in a time when so much of the media is corporately driven, and celebrity focused. It helps create a more balanced perspective within society. Yes, there is such value in hearing people telling their stories, told for the love of sharing, and creating a community. Great post! 🙂

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