Unpublishing the news – it’s a thing

According to Google, the word “unpublish” is defined as a verb that means “to make content that has previously been published online unavailable to the public.”

Years ago, publishers did not face problems of information permanence when a daily printed product was quickly discarded the next day. In the old days – 25 years ago just pre-internet, we archived newspapers in a simple PDF or whatever format. We simply took a picture of the pages and filed them.

Honestly, it doesn’t surprise me – nor should it anyone else, that today more and more news publishers are receiving requests from individuals to remove, obscure or significantly alter once-accurate information published about them in the past. In some cases, these requests are happening many years after a story was initially published online.

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They work for us

Council and committee meetings are now on a hiatus until September 13 – unless there is an emergency over the sum-mer that brings them back to the table.

Does that mean they get an extended two-month holiday? Nope. Other than a couple, three weeks like us regular folks, they should be available to serve their constituents. Actually, they should have more time to address our concerns during the summer as many of their other community committee commitments are also on a summer hiatus.

As a refresher; a councillor has three main roles to play in our municipality: a representative, a policy-maker, and a steward. Just because they aren’t meeting to formally consider and make decisions on local issues, they are still available to hear concerns and if needed, find answers.

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Bring on summer

When did it first hit you that, wow, things are ‘sort of’ getting better?

Living through the whiplash of the past winter followed by the reopening of the spring, then the closing of spring, ask anyone you know and they’ll each have a different answer.

For some, it was the moment they got their vaccine. For others, it was attending their first post-lockdown outdoor family celebration. Perhaps it was even something as mundane as enjoying a walk outside without a mask or scheduling an overdue teeth cleaning.

Regardless, everywhere I look I see signs we are delicately emerging from a crisis. I can see a summer of blissful pseudo normalcy just around the bend. But for a while – to be honest, I felt we wouldn’t experience this for some time.

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Canada Day

Last year the pandemic altered how the holiday was celebrated. This year it has many people struggling with conflicting emotions – pride and shame.

With the announcement of preliminary findings that remains of an estimated 215 children were discovered at burial sites near a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C., Indigenous and non-Indigenous people have called for a scaled back holiday this July 1.

Following Cowessess First Nation announcement that 751 unmarked graves were found at the former Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan the calls have become louder.

While information about burial sites has long been shared within Indigenous communities, these revelations are news to many Canadians. We have been taught Canada is a country that celebrates and embraces diversity. The events over the last month have shattered this. It took until 1982 for the Constitution Act to be amended, recognizing and affirming the rights of Indian and Inuit and Metis peoples of Canada.

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We’re adding digital!

It was predicted in 2012 that newspapers [print] will be extinct in nearly 20 countries around the world by 2025 – and all across the globe by 2040. What is more alarming is the same research declared that in the United States they would disappear by 2017 – just five years later, and in Canada by 2020.

The forecasted death sentences for Canadian and American newspapers were off the mark, but sadly the numbers are declining. It’s a given that I pay attention to all the speculation around the future of newspapers. To be more specific, the fate of local, independent, journalism. I keep an eye on the big guys, you know the ones who eat up us little guys. There is a lot of pessimism around the subject.

It’s nonsense.

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