On January 16th, 2016 my family and I joined the 90% of businesses that are family owned, becoming one of the small number of independently owned newspapers, helping to maintain cohesiveness in our communities which are becoming increasingly rare. Like limited edition runs of special items, anything that is rare has great value.
Our family is no stranger to the news business. I started in publishing in 1986, working with the 'Festival of the Arts' in Ottawa. After moving to Toronto in 1988, and working in the graphics department for a major investment firm for almost three years, I became dissatisfied, it wasn't my purpose.
My husband, a Greenbank-ian from the age of 12, attended R.H. Cornish then Port Perry High. After graduating, he left for his big life adventure in Toronto. He says, the only adventure that didn't disillusion him, after living there for many years, besides God, was meeting me.
We were married after a year and that's when I started a publishing company. He started a distribution company, worked with trade web companies to garnish better deals, to support my publishing, and we had a modest success. But in 1992 my husbands desire for home town brought us back to this area. I couldn't have been happier. I sub-contracted for two news magazines doing production work, and with that, my husband became a feature reporter/columnist.
Next, I went to work at the Port Perry Star; of course when it was still an independent paper. After the Star was purchased by a large corporation, I worked elsewhere, in small graphics jobs, until I joined The Scugog Standard team two years after it's inception in 2004, becoming head of production in 2008, eventually taking over as its general manager in 2013.
Our son Christopher, now 25 years old, joined The Standard at age 15, writing a blog column. He went on to study design at Durham College and audio engineering from a U.S. College, his purpose, to become a multimedia producer for The Standard, as well as GreenStreamsStudios.ca. Our daughters started in 2013 in the mailroom and now do our graphic and web design. Our eldest son, who studied design and digital animation at Durham College, does videography. My husband does everything from delivery to editing. We have discovered that purposely working together enables personal development as well.
Once the former owner decided to sell, it was logical he would offer it to us first. With the help of our community, we transitioned officially last January, and now happily bring you, great local news, reported and delivered by people who live, work and play here.
We are a family, plus a committed group of individuals, who we would consider as extended family, (you know, the ones you would choose, even if they were family, ha ha), and together, each week our purpose is to showcase the needs, strengths and care of our community. Recently, our feature columnist, Jonathan van Bilsen, wrote an article on Margaret Ayres and the great work she does with Big Brothers Big Sisters. The Standard offers us the opportunity to celebrate the everyday heroes in our midst. Our editor, my husband, calls our paper 'The good news newspaper'.
One of our goals is to make The Standard a news organization on several platforms. Already we have been broadcasting our news articles via podcast, local online radio, iTunes and the cloud, and video via our own YouTube channel and website, showcasing Canada, and our Local History, in a series, titled 'There is no time like the Past'. This original feature, created by Christopher Green, specifically for The Standard News, highlights interesting local facts about our community's past. For History buffs, there is an interview with Barb Pratt of the Lucy Maud Montegomery Society of Ontario, filmed on location at the Leaksdale Manse. For Sci-fi buffs, a 'Five Awesome things About Uxbridge', featuring facts about a Star Wars cast member in the area. For action buffs, a video involving Seagrave residents, regarding the history of the Fenian Invasion.
GreenStreamsStudios.ca, our own sound studio and mobile video unit, enables us to create video and radio commercials for our advertising partners. Our multimedia department also creates web presence and online advertising campaigns.
Go online to our website www.thestandardnewspaper.ca and register to receive The Standard newsletter directly to your in-box each week. It contains video content, additional articles and photos we didn't have room for in the print edition.
Needless to say The Standard is a lot more then a print publication. We offer advertising partners marketing campaigns on all platforms, and our readership, news, sports and entertainment written by local enthusiasts in our neighbourhoods.
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