Citizen Action Monitor will be of primary interest to people who want to remain actively and responsibly informed about major contemporary global and Canadian-specific issues, including, for example: climate change; threats to democracy; human rights & social justice; corporate power; economic inequality; alternatives to capitalism; popular resistance; social movements; U.S. politics; government surveillance; global conflict; Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and mainstream media bias.
Given that we are inundated daily by news and information from large corporate owned sources, as editor of Citizen Action Monitor, I offer a news filtering service. I selectively limit my search for stories to trusted, authoritative, leftwing, online news publishers. Every day I do an initial scan of over 100 articles from about 75 different sources, selecting 25 to 50 stories that make the first cut. From these, I will choose one, maybe two, for reposting on my blog.
For the selected one or two stories, I usually add intellectual value in the form of: an original title and subtitle; an opening excerpt from the story that captures the author’s theme or thesis; a short original introduction; my own selection of a featured image; a carefully edited, abridged or reorganized version of the author’s original content; for longer articles, added sub-headings and font highlighting to facilitate browsing; embedded videos if available; added links to related external sources; and added images. I am always careful to preserve the creative genius and integrity of the original work. Occasionally, I add a personal opinion about the story. And I always provide a full citation and link to the original article. Sometimes I will add SEE ALSO references to related articles. Once in awhile I write an original post.
Librarians are service-oriented people. When I retired as director of a college library in Michigan, I looked for ways to continue to be of service to a community — in my case, a community of citizen activists.
Having been a member of a few citizen action groups, I’m well aware of the challenges activists face in planning and delivering effective one-off actions or more ambitious ongoing campaigns. It is seldom easy to find advice of the “how-we-done-it-good” kind, or to discover a one-stop resource for sharing stories with others who are similarly engaged. I hope that this blog will serve this information resource niche.
Not that it matters much, but I have undergraduate and graduate degrees in the social, behavioral and information sciences from Carleton University, the University of Toronto, and the University of Western Ontario. I also have an online teaching and learning certificate from the University of British Columbia.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org