Susan Sherring isn’t quite sure how many people are reading her blog – but at this point she doesn’t much care.
The former Ottawa Sun columnist is back in the news scene with On the City, From the Burbs, which launched in September with a first post appropriately entitled “I’m back!”
“There was sortof that desire to continue to have a voice,” Sherring told OttawaStart.com. “I think there’s always a good reason to have more local voices.”
(When I first reached out in mid-October to talk about her blog I ended up being the one who was interviewed, instead about the Algonquin College strike.)
Sherring was a part of the Sun since day one at the paper until she accepted a buyout in November of last year, in the midst of the decline of the paper’s publisher Postmedia.
“I’ve done a lot of relaxing,” she said. “I have been shocked at how easy the transition was.”
She’s kept busy for the last year, moving from one house in Nepean to another (which she said was already planned and not a result of the buyout) and the launch of the blog was delayed in part because of her poor organization, she said.
Although the buyout cheques stop coming in June, Sherring said she hasn’t been looking for a new job – instead she prefers to take on some freelance writing gigs for the time being.
She’s not the only media personality with a blog in Ottawa. Carol Anne Meehan, who recently announced she’s bowing out of mainstream media, also has a successful “local stories, local people” blog.
Sherring said she’s spoken to Meehan about the possibility of them teaming up, although she said they have very different interests which is evident in the stories they do.
She currently posts a few times a week and said she’d like to write more frequently – both commentary and hard news. She’s even getting phone calls from longtime readers with story ideas.
“I’m a news hound,” she said. “I feel like I’m already breaking stories.”
Indeed, she has. She was first on the public school board spending $51,000 to investigate trustee Donna Blackburn, to which the Ottawa Citizen followed four days later. Sherring also broke a story on how a stormwater pond may pose a danger to aviation safety.
Although it is the same work she was known for at the Sun, it’s an open question as to whether it will prove to be as influential.
“I can definitely feel the difference between being a part of the mainstream media and doing a blog,” Sherring said. “You don’t wield the same stick.”
Susan Sherring’s blog is published several times per week at susansherring.ca