Hard to believe, but it's been almost a year since the Guelph Mercury went out of business, and it's a void that has still yet to be completely filled, even in spite of the best efforts of some people. But forget breaking news, and forget about the play-by-play at city council meetings just for a minute. News doesn't happen in a void, and not every story - even most stories - is self-contained with a beginning, middle and end. Context. News is useless without it, but where can we now get it?
Bill Hulet, a man with a lengthy and accomplished history of political engagement in the city, is trying to bring context back with his new site, the Guelph Back-grounder. Using old-fashioned tools like time, and research, Hulet's resurrecting long form journalism online in the hopes that it might provide Guelphites with some background on hot button issues that may have recent developments, but are rooted in a past that may have been forgotten.
With his new website launched, Hulet's trying to raise awareness for it, and the work he's doing. I know from my own experiences how time consuming and complicated exploring ongoing issues can be, and sometimes there's just not enough hours on the clock to dig into an issue properly, especially if it goes back years. So with the appreciation for the work that Hulet is trying to do, I invited him to do an episode of the Guelph Politicast.
Although the point of the podcast is to talk about the Guelph Back-grounder, Hulet and I wandered off into area in the general topic area of media in Guelph, what we've lost with the closure of the Mercury, and what we hope to gain in the open range of the web as we move forward without our daily paper.
You can check out the Guelph Back-Grounder at its website, or on Facebook. You can get in touch with Hulet at thecloudwalkingowl [at] gmail [dot] com, or on Twitter @CloudwalkingOwl.
The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.
The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.
Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.
Stay tuned for future editions of the Guelph Politicast!