BayToday is welcoming veteran journalist Dave Dale back to the Village Media team as a columnist beginning Monday, which just happens to be his 56th birthday.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge of producing a new series of columns through BayToday," Dale said, noting the landscape for opinion writers these days is "much like a field of landmines where every word can trigger an intense backlash."
Dale, who has been writing about North Bay and area news and social issues for more than three decades, most recently worked full-time as a Local Journalism Initiative reporter through BayToday from September 2020 to April 3. Before that, Dale was a reporter, photographer, and columnist with The Nugget for 18 years August 2000 to September 2018.
A graduate of Canadore College's Print Journalism Program in 1989, he worked for several community newspapers in B.C., North Bay, Kapuskasing and Orillia before becoming the managing editor of the Union of Ontario Indian's Anishinabek News in 1993. He worked out of the headquarters on Nipissing First Nation on Highway 17 West for seven years before returning to mainstream journalism.
He has a reputation for being a hard-nosed political and social analyst who is irreverent to powers that be, while also sharing a compassionate and philosophical side.
"I've been described as having a 'salty wit' and I'm learning you can get your point across, provoke thought and spark discussion without being overly insulting or juvenile," he said, adding the goal will be to give people something worth reading past the headline and first sentence.
"It should be interesting. The first hurdle will be getting readers to accept the fact I'm a white male who doesn't quite fit in with either the 'woke' crowd or rednecks," he said. "I'm aware that's not going to be an easy task these days but I'm hoping my experience navigating societal rapids allows me to be a relevant and valuable voice."
Dale recently put the news reporting part of his journalism career on ice to create his Small Town Times Productions company, which publishes a quarterly print magazine called Back in the Bay. It features mostly retrospective articles about the area. It follows in the footsteps of A Bit of the Bay Magazine, which published 11 editions before wrapping up December 2020. He also has a website www.smalltowntimes.ca where the magazine is promoted while providing a multi-media story-telling platform for a stable of columnists.