GUYSBOROUGH – The Guysborough Journal has hired two new half-time journalists to expand its coverage in the District of St. Mary’s and the Sheet Harbour area. Both names will be familiar to regular Journal readers.
Alec Bruce, an award-winning journalist and author of the Bay Sighs column in this newspaper will primarily cover the District of St. Mary’s. Janice Christie, a long-time community news contributor to The Journal, will focus on the Sheet Harbour area. Both will cover civic news in these communities.
The two 15-month positions are made possible with support from the federal government’s new Local Journalism Initiative (LJI). There is a possibility of the Journal’s LJI project being renewed at the end of this term.
“We’re very pleased to have Alec and Janice join our journalism team,” says publisher Allan Murphy. “The LJI support will help us do a better job of telling the civic news stories that need to be told in St. Mary’s and Sheet Harbour. These are vibrant communities with a need for more coverage of the stories that impact residents’ lives.”
News Media Canada, as administrator of the program, announced on Dec. 19 that it will fund 105 journalists at 94 host news organizations across Canada under the LJI.
A total of 155 applications were received from News Media Canada’s initial call for entries in November and adjudicated by an independent panel of industry experts in early December. Eligible applicants included press agencies, private news organizations, and non-profit news organizations. Thirty-four journalists will be working at daily newspapers, 59 at community newspapers and 12 at digital news media. (The Journal's two half-time positions count as one in this breakdown.)
Stories produced by LJI reporters will be made available to media organizations and the public via an online portal managed by The Canadian Press.
“We were pleased that our first call for applications for the Local Journalism Initiative drew an excellent response,” said John Hinds, president and CEO of News Media Canada. “We believe this will make a significant contribution to the industry and help strengthen civic journalism across Canada, and we look forward to our next round of applications.”
The Local Journalism Initiative is a five-year program that supports the creation of original civic journalism relevant to the diverse needs of people living in news deserts and areas of news poverty across Canada.