It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to Good News Toronto: Our Everyday Heroes. I decided to start the newspaper after I heard some friends complaining about how dangerous the city had become. My friends had not personally been victims of violence. I felt that the media was responsible for their perception. I have been surrounded by generous, kind, and inspiring people. It is incomprehensible to me that someone could perpetrate a reprehensible act and end up on the front page of a newspaper. The hundreds of Torontonians reaching out to help each other rarely make it into the news. Thus, I embarked on the project of honouring these wonderful people by dedicating an entire newspaper to them. The first issue of Good News Toronto: Our Everyday Heroes came out February 2008.
Good News Toronto celebrates the inspirational people of our city. In its short life, the newspaper has already garnered many positive outcomes. One mother wrote in to say that after reading one issue, her daughter wanted her birthday presents to be donated to the orphanage in Kenya that two young heroes had visited. Another person, an author of children’s books donated some of his books to the library in Ghana that a hero created. As we are moved by these stories, we become inspired to also make a difference in some way.
The everyday heroes featured in every issue are diverse. The newspaper encourages us to look at our neighbours as heroes rather than villains, and to treat each other with respect and understanding. Good News Toronto contributes to the idea that the city is a vibrant community. The portrait painted in our paper is of citizens wanting to be involved and engaged — not a city where its inhabitants hide under the notion that it is a dangerous place.
Good News Toronto has attracted professional writers who want to be involved in a fresh perspective on news. Journalism students and high school students aspiring to be writers have joined the team. Visual artists and poets use Good News Toronto as a venue for showcasing their work. Our newspaper has become an important source for mentoring talented individuals. It is also a place where citizens of this city can share the stories of their personal heroes. I look forward to your involvement in this unique publication.