The paper will be off the presses later today. I don’t have a lo-res pdf of the final copy, but there is the next to last copy below. (A few minor changes, such as the date on the Training Wheels Ad, were made) This is my introduction from page 6.
With meekness and humility, but with strong confidence and few misgivings, we lay before the public the first issue of The Galt Reporter. Our long acquaintance with the Press has convinced us that wherever a real intention exists of laying before the reader as the fullest, most correct, least biased and party-coloured intelligence, the public never fail to receive with favour and acceptance the fruits of such intention, and to forgive and palliate of him of whose sincerity they are assured. With this qualification we believe ourselves strongly armed, and, trusting therein, and in an over-ruling Providence who directs all things for the welfare of his people, we cast our bread upon the waters.
On Friday, November 13th, 1846 the first issue of The Galt Reporter was launched with those words. The editorial took up the entire front page, explaining why they were launching a new paper for Galt. The population of Galt in the 1841 census was 1,000 people, which burgeoned to 3,082 in 1871 when they did the next census.
Back then, most of the papers came from England by boat. I like to think that a group of guys got together for a pint and said “Screw the King, we want our own paper.”
The Reporter went on to become the Canada’s longest running newspaper until it closed on September 19th, 2003.
We’re not sure if that’s how The Reporter really started, but this one did. This started when Jimm Hillis approached me about starting a new social media website for Cambridge. In addition to columns about what’s going on in the city, he envisioned a place where all sides of local issues could be discussed by people from the community who were knowledgeable in local matters.
I had some experience with this after Colin Carmichael started The Cambridge Reporter Online. We had such a great reaction that Torstar shut us down, claimed the name, and started their own Cambridge Reporter website.
The Cambridge Citizen was launched. We actively sought opposing viewpoints on local issues, and we quickly became the leading social media site in Cambridge. We subsequently started a magazine, primarily to highlight some of the stories we saw at the site.
The response to the magazine was incredible, and when Echo Weekly, the alternative newspaper, folded in September we saw our chance.
Over the last few months we have been working to bring Cambridge something new. We have no intention of competing with the corporate media; we have neither the resources nor the desire to do so. We promise you something different.
We want to bring you stories about the people, places and events that make Cambridge such a great place to call home. We will bring you columns by local artists. Judee Richardson-Schofield(Photography) Bill Ashwell (Poetry) Krysta Lee (Acting). They will write about how you can take your artistic career to the next level. In addition to some of the city’s better known writers we’ll give the new writers a chance to be published.
You will notice at the top of the first edition of the Reporter it says “Open to all parties.” I’m not sure at what point newspapers started coming out in favour of one political party, but we are ‘open to all.” My own left leaning political ways are well known, and I have asked Margaret Barr to act as Managing Editor to provide balance. Margaret is an active member of the local conservative party, and ran against Doug Craig for Mayor, who I supported.
While we will let the traditional media to continue you to bring you the everyday news, we will keep an ear to the group for anything they might miss.
I was hesitant at first to call it a “newspaper,” and so I googled it.
According to my friend Wikipedia, A newspaper is “a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising.” We have thrown in some fiction and poetry for good measure. Whether it qualifies as a “newspaper” or not we’ll let you be the judge.
And so, my friends, with meekness and humility, but with strong confidence and few misgivings, we lay before the public the first issue of The Cambridge Citizen.
Click to view PDF of Issue 1
Tags: Cambridge Citizen, Cambridge Reporter