Patricia W. Elliott · For CBC Opinion ·

In the morning dark, before coffee is made and cats are stirring, you’ll find me awkwardly leaning out my front door, one arm reaching for the mailbox and the comforting touch of newsprint.

In truth, I’ve already spent at least an hour awake in bed, phone-scrolling through a cacophony of news stories from around the globe … but precious little about my hometown.

Those hometown stories are now spread out on my kitchen table: births, deaths, celebrations, laneway closures, tax arrears notices, city hall shenanigans, the latest provincial gossip, and the triumphs and tragedies of ordinary citizens.

A human editor has arranged stories front to back not in order of my personal tastes, but in order of public significance, arrived at through a combination of experience, reader feedback and heated newsroom discussions.

Sometimes I read the online edition or follow the paper on social media. The physical form matters not. What matters is its purpose — providing accurate information to help an informed citizenry make decisions, hold power to account, know each other and ensure the wellbeing of their city.

Frustratingly, this purpose is being steadily dismantled by the paper’s own masters.

The true owner of my local newspaper is Chatham Asset Management, a hedge fund in New Jersey.