Updated: Oct 29
Hear Janette talk to Newsload Field Correspondent Sofia Eidsath about CTV London's useful mistake, what Michael Van Holst and Voldemort have in common and why Western students aren't invited into her garage.
By Bryan Bakker
Visit www.centerrising.com to support the Newsload.
Ward One NEEDS Janette Cameron.
And so does Canada.
Janette Cameron is a fearless advocate for the working class folk of London's east end. Her frank recognition of the challenges her ward faces is inspiring and authentic. Many like her have given up trying to participate in democracy.
She told us, she has nothing to lose.
As I write this, this comedic journalist. can't help but to sense our system is on some kind of brink. What happens if people like Janette are driven away from participatory democracy? What happens when millions like her feel disenfranchised or unfairly represented? I believe we're seeing the results everyday.
After watching our report on Janette I hope you'll see, as we do, that more than ever we need to listen too and elect - more leaders - like Janette.
In informal conversations with local journalists here in London - there is doom talk. Locally, no one is making money providing investigative journalism, and the five year outlook for the few remaining companies is grim. CTV London, like all their colleagues in the Western world, are relentlessly driven - incentivized - to sensationalize in order to get clicks and drive views.
Janette is new to politics. Let us say for her, what she said to us and should have said to CTV. Just because her husband is friends with a Hell's Angels member, doesn't mean she supports criminality. In fact, outside of working her ass off as a Ward One mom and business owner, Janette spends her time, on the streets of London, helping the homeless, drug addicts and sex workers. In other words - victims of criminality. Something we should ALL be spending more time doing.
Part of the power of the Newsload is that we can talk authentically, with laughter and sometimes tears, about issues that affect us all. In this space, communication is easier because we aren't relentlessly judging, looking for that opening, assuming the darkest implications. In comedy there is space to learn, to understand, to recognize not everyone is the perfect communicator - AND STILL GET CLICKS!
When we see people authentically, we feel like we know them, and can recognize those who have a good heart and a lot of drive to positively contribute to their community. That's Janette, and in our humble opinion, she deserves a fair shot at leadership.
Comedic journalism takes away nothing but adds so much to local news.
In Margaret Sullivan’s landmark book, Ghosting the News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of American Democracy, to fill what some now call "news deserts" there is a growing effort to use nonprofits.
Sullivan offers an example. Alice Dreger, a former professor at Michigan State University, who created the East Lansing Info. With their more than 100 community volunteers they discovered:
An undisclosed pension debt of $200 million.
Their waste-water treatment plant mishandled a mercury spill.
A retaining wall, built at public expense, had been benefiting the city attorney’s personal property.
The city was selling off a piece of municipal property on eBay.
These are important results that show in stark terms how "when the cats are away the mice will play". But relying on nonprofits to keep democracy healthy is haphazard at best. What about poor districts? What about regions were economic desperation limits the pool of volunteers? What about conflicts of interest between donors and what's being covered?
Clearly, what's needed is a free market approach that can generate income through increased interest while accomplishing the same things.
Enter The Newsload.
Bridging the gap between fact finders and savvy audiences while making a profit. That's the holy grail / business model everyone is looking for. A model that can save local journalism while revitalizing accountability, and by extension, democracy itself. That's what we believe the Newsload can do. But only with your help.
Just as in this report, and just like in the example of the East Lansing Info, there are stories out there, in the London region and beyond, not being told that must be, for the sake of our community's future. Please support our mission.
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