by Andrew Krystal
A new newspaper you ask? How could this be? Gone are the days when newspapers could dominate the media and tycoons like William Randolph Hearst could reign, building for himself a castle at San Simean California out of the lavish proceeds. But newspapers still matter. Despite the power of bloggers, it is newspapers that still have the staff to break the stories (just ask the White House about the Guardian or Stephen Harper about the Globe and Mail). Yes, perhaps the glory days are gone, Watergate would have been a leak-fest on the internet if it happened today, and often newspapers, in their bid to keep distracted readers, have in some cases desperately lowered their standards in order to accommodate headlines.
But newspapers still matter -- especially if they do their job. Many here in Emery Village are of a mature age and actually still read them. In the end, it is always about relevance – content.
If this newspaper gives you the in-depth local news and stories that you can’t find anywhere else (and you can’t), it will find its readership. Many local papers are only local because they are distributed that way. Really, they are aggregators of other stories with a token piece here or there to make it appear as if the media conglomerate cares; if you really want to attract readers, and with it community support, then you have to be a real, local, community driven, community-focused newspaper. Just like the one you are reading.
Who else but this newspaper would mine the history of Emery Village and tell the story of the current characters, stories and events that inhabit this unique piece of Toronto? I have watched it grow and change. I grew up on 5 Sunset Trail and later moved to 131 Lanyard Road. I attended Melody Road Public School and then Daystrom Drive. My brothers attended Emery High School. As a boy I caught frogs and sucker fish, and played on the banks of the Humber. Of course now a lot has changed. My old houses are still there and I find I drive by them a lot more just to have a look and think of my parents. I remember that the first movie I ever saw was in a church basement on Weston Rd. near my house. I also played church league hockey for the Riverside tykes (even though I was on my ankles).
Changes are happening fast. The Italian community that first moved here in the 1950s and 1960s are, statistically speaking, declining – down to 24 per cent of the population. In their place are a growing Spanish speaking and South Asian population. There is still a very strong Korean population in Emery Village too that sometimes gets overlooked. The population here, even more than in other areas, is an ever-changing dynamic. There is also growing investment in Emery Village with new developments at Finch Avenue and Weston Road that will bring change.
This newspaper will keep you informed about community changes and the things that matter to it, to your neighbourhood, home, and child’s school. Gone may be the days when the newspaper barons ruled or people would all experience an event together -- old television shows like Ed Sullivan (before my time) or the first moon landing. Things are more fragmented now and there are hundreds of TV channels and lots of media choice, but the need to bring everyone together in a community still counts.
Over the summer the families in Emery Village gathered on the wet grass in Joseph Bannon Park to experience a movie outside – twice. Hundreds came.
The Emery Village Voice will create and reflect an experience too. Only you don’t need to gather. It will be delivered. In this case, the community will come to you.