With one week to go before we wind down this blog, an email from Mandy Martin, former editorial director at Northumberland Today, arrives.
It justifies five years of dedication to this effort, which has been a labour of love, a conduit for all Sun Media employees, past and present.
"I do not know who you are.
"I do know you are committed, honest and brave.
"In this era of bullying corporate control and muzzling, you have been a beacon of reassurance. That is no mean feat: when, under pressure of obeisance, isolation and livelihood, the individual journalist’s fundamental values of honesty, integrity and veracity are questioned, you have been, in a very public and encouraging way, a lighthouse.
"In small town Ontario, life changed with corporate convergence. Business wheels spun and jeopardy was afoot. May I say, when our small town newspapers were eventually subsumed by the Sun family, there were fears of an “us and them” mentality. It was never thus in our case. In fact, after initial trepidations, it was a happy confluence under Michael Sifton’s Osprey Media. Journalism lived and was rejoiced. The “Sun family” ethos, happily, ruled.
"But time passed. Under the abysmal direction of Quebecor, all who have been encapsulated have felt the brute force of economic centralism that regards query as malfeasance. Think Qaddafi.
"There are new strategies for those true journalists who remain. They know who they are; they are worthy of admiration and encouragement. They hold the torch in despicable conditions.
"And you, to me, anonymous, as the host of this blog, have my undying respect and gratitude.
"In darkest hours, there was reassurance that someone else 'got it'. The strength and value of journalism in the wake of economic greed and confluence for the benefit of the one, or few, lived.
"This is not Afghanistan. But it could be.
"I thank you.
"I salute you and wish you well."
Former Editorial Director
(Cobourg Daily Star, Colborne Chronicle, Port Hope Evening Guide)