From The Editor: The Public Record Suspends Operations, Thanks Patrons for Support

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Joey Coleman in The Public Record news room getting ready for a week of City Hall meetings.

UPDATE – September 16, 2015 – The Public Record will relaunch.

Joey Coleman in The Public Record news room getting ready for a week of City Hall meetings.

Joey Coleman in The Public Record news room getting ready for a week of City Hall meetings.

The Public Record must suspend operations.

I cannot say thank you enough to everyone who has supported The Public Record over the years, you’ve made all that was achieved possible. You understood that local journalism – the kind written by journalists who live in the community they cover – is important and you helped fund it.

I’m no longer able to sustain The Public Record, no matter how much I desire to do so. This was a difficult decision to make but, simply put, The Public Record is unable to fulfill its goals and I’m not able to continue to operate the site.

I’m proud of how we’ve improved coverage of civic affairs in Hamilton and thankful I’ve been able to serve my community for many years. I hope to again serve the community in the future once I’ve cleared my name of the allegations made by City Council.

Covering my hometown has been the most fulfilling part of my journalism career thus far.

Sure, my work prior to returning to local journalism was great (and travelling across the world was fun), but it was being able to innovate and contribute to my community which brought me greater satisfaction that anything else I’ve done. It was the enjoyment of the work that made it easy to ignore the exhausting hours and challenges of running the business side of the operation.

To report first-hand how Hamiltonians are making our City better, to report on great people doing great things in our community, and to be part of that – I wouldn’t trade this for anything.

Even before the events of the past few months, my independent journalism was not yet sustainable and I don’t know if I would’ve been able to reach sustainability even if City Council hadn’t acted to shut down my work. I wish I could’ve found out.

I entered 2015 with a strong plan to reach sustainability by June. The Public Record was making progress towards this goal when, in February, City Council used its powers of Municipal Law against The Public Record following a widely discredited investigation by Council’s Integrity Commissioner Earl Basse that has been criticized by many including the Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin.

I face many legal and court costs in the coming weeks as I prove my innocence against the accusations. I have a filing deadline of August 25 for my legal documents and will be spending the next two weeks completing them.

Once I get past the flurry of legal filings, I look forward to sharing my experiences of being one of the first crowdfunded journalists in the hope others can learn from my work.

At this time, I feel the bitter taste of failure. But I’m mindful that I’ve failed before, and I hope to have the opportunity to fail again. Failure can only occur when one tries to succeed.

I hope to see you all soon. I’ll be throwing a closing/thank you party once I’ve figured out what’s next for me. Someone has suggested calling a “Stag and Joe” and I suspect it will be fun.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve our community,

– Joey

P.S. I’ll be posting once again on my personal website www.joeycoleman.ca

P.S.S. Here’s the video I used to explain the work involved in going live. I hope it shows just how much fun this experience has been for me.

16 thoughts on “From The Editor: The Public Record Suspends Operations, Thanks Patrons for Support

  1. Continue t0 be a big supporter of what it is that you are trying (and succeeding) to do. I understand that the processes take an incredibly long time and food and shelter are important in the meantime! I’m hoping that you will keep us informed of the process and how you are doing.

  2. Joey, while saddened by your decision, one understands the heartbreak you must be enduring right now. You have done an unbelievable task in a toxic atmosphere. You did it for your city and its’ citizens. For that, this city is a more aware, more conscious, more skeptical landscape than ever before in it’s history. Thank you for your hard and painful service to the citizenry.
    Frank Rocchi

  3. Joey, I know you will be back when you can and I look forward to it. You provide a huge service to this City. Thank you for your efforts in the past and I can only wish you the best of luck in what you are going through.

  4. You are a true professional, Joey, and you continue to have the respect of your colleagues . I’m looking forward to supporting the crowd funding . . . Lunch sometime?

  5. It’s a sad day for Hamiltonians. Joey, I commend you for the hard work and effort you have put into TPR. It’s upsetting that you’re having to go down like this, being buried in legal fees, etc.

    One correction to your statement: You are NOT a failure by any means. TPR was a success story in many ways, don’t forget that. You brought light to many important issues in the City, held people accountable, and accomplished a lot with the crowd funded budget. That is a success. Look at this as only a set back. I am confident in your skills and determination that there is much more to come from Joey Coleman. This is not the end.

    I look forward to your next mission.

  6. Fighting all Institutions I have found, is like, playing snakes and ladders in a game where only the Institutions know where the snakes and ladders are. One sided and heavily tilted towards their advantage. Despite this we must have those that get up to continue the fight , glad your among that circle. Create a stronger you from this. With ya.

  7. Unbelievable. I am so sorry to hear this. You take them to court and you destroy the sons of bitches. The dark age is comings for hamiltonians, and that is because you aren’t there to draw light on its municipalities supposedly public workings.

    Live long, live strong, Coleman

  8. I am so very sad, sad for myself, sad for you, and mostly sad for democracy. I have no doubt that a human being with the commitment you have shown will find your path again. I am more than disappointed with our City Government. I was less than pleased with them in general. This is outrageous.
    All the best Joey,
    Peggyanne

  9. what he said (Chad Fullerton). No failure here Joey, you did a stellar job, the odds just weren’t in your favour. You’ve shone a bright light where it certainly needed shining, hopefully others will take up the torch while you fight your legal battles, best of luck.

  10. Hi Joey,
    Nice talking with this past summer in Gore Park while the Pan Am games were in town. I read your story in the Hamilton Spectator today. I’ve known you for many years and yes picked you and taken you to school on the HSR for years. I want to wish you much success in all that you do and I believe in you alot. This HSR driver is one of your fans and Joey after 40 years driving the bus I’m now retired. I now work partime two days aweek for the HSR and can do this for the next 7 years. Hopefuly I will see you on my bus once again. Keep up the good work your doing and remember to take the bus and leave the fuss to us. Take care, Ken Goobie

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