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In 2014, the creators of the Owen Sound Hub  wrote a Welcome post to introduce it, explain it, and invite you to be part of it. 

As we run down the clock on 2018 and three hundred and sixty-five brand-new days spread out in front of us, we who now sit behind the keyboards would like to thank Michael Den Tandt and Paul Lachine and share some of their words and our hopes for the future of the Hub.

"We believe the people of Owen Sound and the surrounding area deserve to have, and in fact need, their own viable, free-standing, locally controlled and operated newspaper."  Check. (Still working on the viable).

"We are here to tell the stories other media don't, can't or won't - stories about local news, local politics, local sports, local music, theatre and art, local innovation.... We are local, local, local and more local. That is what we do. It is what engages us." Check. 

"For far too long, media was a closed shop, in which the voices and creativity of ordinary people were often lost in the din or eclipsed by news from afar. But technology has changed all that.

"Your stories, your children's stories, your parents and grandparents' stories, are the ones we intend to tell, in prose, drawings, photos and video.

"If you own a smartphone you are probably shooting video and taking photos, and telling stories, every day. Sometimes these are stories of triumph, of a challenge met or a race won. Other times they're stories of sadness, of friends and family departed and deeply missed.

"We believe that a community requires such stories, in a sense is made of such stories. And we sincerely hope you'll share yours with us, and through us, with your friends and neighbours. Send us a link to your video, your blog post or your photo slideshow. Tell us what's happening in your sphere of interest, whether it's a social club, choir or sports team. 

"Make the Hub your own."  Check, check, check - we hope you will jump in more and more in 2019.  And when we have published your words and images on the Hub, please share them in all the ways you like.

"In our coverage of public life in Owen Sound we pledge to be fair, honest, critical or supportive of political leadership when warranted, as befits media in a democracy, and to always keep the interests of citizens and residents uppermost. There can be no greater role, for media, than to be a public watchdog, in the interest of the people."  Okay - we changed "taxpayers" to "citizens" because that's our vocabulary here now,  but this is certainly a pledge we intend to keep.

"Perhaps most important, we pledge to welcome your voices and give them pride of place, not to filter them. We will not run or host any material that is libelous or slanderous, hateful or bigoted towards any group. But within and guided by those time-honoured standards, we will give your voices, opinions, and ideas free reign - with a view to creating a thriving free marketplace of ideas, right here in Owen Sound." Our goal in 2019 is to focus on community building and finding solutions to our common challenges, and that means hearing things from many perspectives, and listening to each other's voices.

"We intend for www.owensoundhub.org to be, in a very real way, your site – your forum, your soap box, your meeting place and sounding board.

"The Hub can become something unique and great. It will become what we make it, together." 

Let's meet here on December 31, 2019 and we'll see how we've done.  In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you all - in person, in our mailbox and on our pages.

Wishing you the very best for 2019 - from Anne, Kelly, Jody and Jon - here at OwenSoundHub.org.


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