When you think of community news, one of the images that sprout in your mind is of a 10-year-old kid riding his bike down a suburban street tossing a rolled-up newspaper on the front steps of each house. You’re not wrong — but here at OMG, it’s so much more than that.
Our take on community journalism is not old school, it’s not traditional, and it’s not simply about where you live. We acknowledge that communities come in all shapes and sizes and the only factor that matters is that they are connected by commonalities.
Of course one of those commonalities can be a postal code, but your proximity to someone is not the only factor that creates a community. Here at OMG, we define communities in three ways.
The first is geography, of course. Going back to that 10-year-old kid tossing newspapers at every house in the neighbourhood — this is the essence of traditional community news. In our case, it’s more like an email server tossing digital newsletters at every inbox, but you get the gist. Our geographic communities range from cities such as Victoria and Calgary to suburbs like Burnaby, and even whole regions like the Fraser Valley.
The second way we define a community is by industry. Think about it — most of us go to work five days a week and we chat with our colleagues more often than we chat with our friends. It’s also easy to connect with other professionals in the same field because you share so many commonalities. So it makes sense that your coworkers and your industry peers are part of your professional community. At OMG, our team at the Vancouver Tech Journal connects tech and innovation professionals, companies, and enthusiasts across the province with their weekly updates on everything they need to know about the industry.
The third definition of a community is people connected by a general interest — think sneakerheads, pop culture aficionados, or diehard sports fans. For us at OMG, it’s foodies. Tasting Victoria is a community of more than 35,000 food lovers on Vancouver Island. The audience is a mix of chefs, restaurateurs, bakers, and people who just love going out and discovering a delicious place to eat. They love food, and the Tasting Victoria team keeps them all up to date with restaurant profiles and best-of lists in their weekly newsletters.
These three types of communities keep us connected to the world around us. They go beyond where we live and tap into what we care about both near and far. The communities we are a part of play an important role in our everyday lives and that’s why OMG is devoted to building more and more of these communities across the country.