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Just like today’s social media, the Cambridge Reporter newspaper had its champions and detractors. It shared happy happenings, photos of grinning high-school graduates, and top scorers in your local bowling league.
Other times, news stories and editorials stirred public opinion and stoked public anger about school closings or dysfunction at the hospital. It sometimes offered tidbits of fake news.
The Cambridge Reporter was the community’s voice for 157 years. When its last edition was printed on Sept. 19, 2003, it was Canada’s oldest operating newspaper at the time.
Now, 20 years on, how do you keep track of what’s going on in Cambridge, as the city turns 50 years old? How worried are you as internet algorithms and Artificial Intelligence engine battle over what to tell you is news?
About the Speaker
Kevin Swayze never expected to make a career of writing –– until things didn’t start adding up as he planned.
Kevin grew up on a farm south of Hamilton, Ontario. In high school, he planned to go on to engineering school and learn how to build things. Scraping through three math classes in Grade 13 prompted a change of mind.
Instead, he graduated with honours from the Journalism Print program at Conestoga College in 1986.
Kevin’s co-op education work term was at the Cambridge Reporter, writing business stories. A year later, he was hired full-time as a reporter-photographer, covering entertainment, police, courts, local government, and anything else he was assigned to. In 2000, he was promoted to news editor, and managing editor in 2002. He was the last employee out the door when the paper folded on Sept. 19, 2003.
Kevin then worked 13 years at The Waterloo Region Record, writing mainly about Cambridge news and a weekly Cambridge Connection column. His last two years at The Record were as an online reporter, writing for the website and social media.
He left The Record in 2016. Since then, he’s worked in the communications office in the Health Sciences Faculty at McMaster University and as Director of Communications in the office of MPP Kathryn McGarry. He now teaches business communication at Conestoga College, edits Neighbours of West Galt magazine, and undertakes selected writing projects.
He’s also a member of Cambridge Toastmasters, is a two-time Bernice Adams Arts Awards nominee, and vice-chair of the board of the Cambridge Food Bank.