By Marvin Baker, a new weekly column in The Kenmare News
Posted 1/23/18 (Tue)
During a normal week, I would write something in this space about
However, this isn’t a normal week and here’s why. A very disturbing trend is developing that hasn’t happened in
Many of us in the newspaper world found out in October the Moose Jaw Times-Herald in
In November, a report on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., indicated that six suburban weekly newspapers in the nation’s capital region of
It was also announced in November that 21 small-town weeklies in the
In December, we found out that two, what we thought were strong
The latest announcement is even more of a shocker. The same company that closed the Times-Herald, announced that if buyers aren’t found, 12 additional newspapers in
One of them, the Oxbow-Carnduff Herald-Gazette, has already closed, pushing its last issue out on Dec. 22.
Others include the Southwest Booster in Swift Current, the Lumsden Waterfront Press and the Prince Albert Daily Herald.
It just seems too incredible that these newspapers have been dropping like dominos just in the past four months?
And to someone who has been in journalism in
If you break down some of this information, you’ll most likely understand why this is so hard to swallow.
First of all,
The population of Swift Current is 15,500 and the Southwest Booster reports a circulation of 13,700 that includes a southeastern
Lumsden has a population of 1,800 and the Waterfront Press has a circulation of 3,860, according to its website.
One of the others set for closure is the South Central Star in Coronach. OK, maybe I can see that one because there’s less than 650 people in Coronach. But these others folding? My gosh,
I reached out to Roger Holmes, the publisher of the 13
But Mr. Holmes also told me something that we all know in journalism but we don’t like to talk about. It’s the Internet and how it is sucking up a lot of revenue from local newspapers.
“Everybody still thinks the digital emperor has clothes. One day they will realize the digital emperor has no clothes, but the real journalists will all be gone by then and they will not understand what happened to their communities,” Holmes said. “The people have voted with their wallets and their eyeballs and they will reap what they have sown and reap what they have sown in communities without responsible journalism.”
It’s a really powerful statement, and it’s true. Unqualified news sources, bloggers and even certain newsletters aren’t proofread, aren’t edited and are likely in existence to serve a target audience rather than the general population.
As a result, integrity gets lost and the public begins to believe Internet bloggers who think they are good journalists.