Don’t call them New Year’s Resolutions! Having said that, with our busy election year finally out of the way, I’ve been looking at ways to bring new, better, more interesting, and better packaged political news from this site to all its dozens of readers. So below are five things that you can expect from Guelph Politico and its various appendages once we flip over the calendar to 2023.
1) Newsletters will stay (mostly) the same.
If you’ve been enjoying the embiggened number of newsletters in your inbox, then good news! In the new year, the Guelph Politico Tip Sheet will be sticking to its regular schedule of three newsletters per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, plus the council recap newsletter on Thursdays on a week with council meetings.
Space Invader will also continue on an irregular Saturday schedule, and while I did briefly flirt with the idea of spinning it off into its own newsletter feed, I will keep it tucked in with the Tip Sheet for a little end of the week fun for the time being.
In terms of changes, I will be be experimenting with the addition of a “sports section” in the Wednesday newsletter, or at the very least some box scores for local, high school and university sports. Local sports coverage is one of those areas that has suffered the most in the cuts to local journalism, and though I am by no means a sporty guy, I feel like this needs to be addressed.
2) More committee coverage.
What’s been pretty clear in the last term of council is that there’s a lot of issues between council, staff and committees. Yes, there’s been visible friction between Heritage Guelph and the City, and the Accessibility Advisory Committee and the City, but are there any other details we’re missing? That’s the concern, and let’s be honest, the City is not the greatest when it comes to helping people stay on top of committee work. Video of meetings are unavailable and meeting minutes are bare bones.
The solution going forward is obvious: the media has to be there. So going forward, more committee coverage is going to be incorporated into Politico’s overall coverage. The focus will be on the shared services, so the Police Board, the Library Board, Wellington County’s social services, the Board of Health and the Grand River Conservation Authority. There are also points of interest in terms of current events that need covering including the Downtown Board, Heritage Guelph, the Elliott, the Transit Advisory Committee and the Accessibility Advisory Committee.
That’s a lot seeing it all laid out, so we may have to be choosy depending on the month, but the work has already begun with live coverage of the last few Police Board hearings and Heritage Guelph, and we will expand that coverage over the course of 2023. Also, on a personal note, hopefully Elon will bring back moments to make chronicling all these meetings as easy as possible and not blow up Twitter completely in the process.
3) City Pages Weekly
You may be familiar with the “City Pages” segment on the Friday edition of the Tip Sheet. That actually started as an occasional segment on the main Politico website, and it still is, but I want to make that a bit more regular. So along with the “Police Notes” segment every Saturday, it will be joined in the future by a weekly “City Pages” article.
Also, looking for “Mangez!” to continue on a twice the month schedule, but after three years of pandemic interruptions, I’m officially calling the time of death on the old monthly “Politico Calendar”. (Sunday’s “Save the Date feature in the Tip Sheet will continue though.)
4) Queen’s Park News Round-Up.
This idea is less than fully formed, but there’s a lot of information that I collect from the Provincial government and the opposition parties, and it’s not necessarily always an immediate news priority. I don’t like to leave a press release go unused, so we’re going to experiment with an Ontario politics news round up that will hopefully capture some of those stories and information pieces that might otherwise fall through the cracks in a style similar to other Politico aggregation segments like “City Pages” and “Police Notes”.
5) Podcast (sort of break) till February.
There will be new episodes of the podcast coming out every Wednesday in January, but they will not necessarily be wholly original. One episode will be the council recap from the second half of 2022 and two of them will be re-edited Open Sources interviews with the new city councillors, but in terms of new, original interviews you will have to wait until February. The pause is to create a little bit of a break after a very busy year producing interviews, and to give me time to book some new and interesting guests for the months to come.