Osgoode, Ontario, Canada
I have been an award-winning Ontario rural and suburban community newspaper journalist, editor, publisher, general manager and a journalism teacher, for more than 30 years. I began my newspaper career in May 1978 when, after graduating from journalism school, landed a job as a reporter/photographer at the Haliburton (Ont.) County Echo. I've worked since then as a reporter, photographer, managing editor, publisher and general manager for small town and suburban community newspapers in Fort Erie (Times-Review), Peterborough (Review), Arnprior (Chronicle), Almonte (Gazette), Glengarry County (News) and up until August 2000, was publisher/managing editor of a group of community newspapers in rural and suburban south Ottawa with my wife Diane.
Between 1989 and 1995, I sat on the Ontario Community Newspapers Association (OCNA) Board of Directors and served as the organization’s second vice president in 1993 and 1994. In the course of my career, I have been recognized with several awards for my work as a community journalist, including as a three-time winner of the Bell Canada Award for column writing, the Ontario Ministry of Environment Environmental Writing Award, and the Ontario Hydro Feature Writing Award. In addition, the newspapers I've managed have won record numbers of awards in their class for journalism, design, photography and commentary. In March 2000, my career in the community newspaper industry was capped when I was named by OCNA as one of 50 industry individuals who has made a major contribution to Ontario’s community newspaper industry since OCNA’s founding in 1950. In 2005, I published ‘The Osgoode Village Story’, a local history book which has sold 1,400 copies, with all revenues being donated to the local community association to be earmarked for local improvement.
I am now employed as a full-time Journalism professor/coordinator at the Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology’s Media Centre. I annually judge newspaper excellence competitions for the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Ontario Community Newspapers Association.
In addition to my teaching duties at Algonquin, I have written a freelance column for the daily Ottawa Citizen which focuses on life in the city’s rural fringes. I am also the volunteer director of www.gojournalism.ca, a non-profit, community-funded journalism site.