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 and information filtering blog — I selectively limit my search for stories to trusted, authoritative, primarily leftist, online news publishers. Every day I do an initial scan of dozens of articles from about 50 newsletter subscriptions, selecting 20 or so articles that make the first cut. From these, I will choose one, maybe two articles, 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; my own short original introduction; my own selection of a featured image; and sometimes a link to a related story. In the body of the repost, I will either repost the original piece as is OR sometimes present a carefully edited, abridged or reorganized version of the author’s original content. For longer articles, I add sub-headings and text highlighting to facilitate browsing. If the story includes a video or audio, I will embed it. 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. 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 citizens actively engaged in current events.
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 stories by and about others who are actively 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.
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