Another loss to media in York South–Weston

Oh, man. I hate  the internet. I hate social media. I hate the 21st century.

The York-City Centre Neighbourhood Voice—which I still know as the Guardian—is folding, along with the North York and Scarborough Mirrors.

Nominally, they are moving online, but they are redeploying staff and will no longer print the paper (which, I imagine, provided the bulk of their advertising revenues).

Community papers all across the country have been in decline for a decade, and roughly 200 have closed.  The reasons are simple: writing is expensive, but internet ads are cheap. For example, to hire one full-time journalist at poverty wages would take about 10 times as many visits as we get on WestonWeb—and I think we are successful little site.

A death spiral looms. Nobody will visit a site if it doesn’t publish regularly, and  nobody can publish regularly without (by my calculations) about 500,000 annual visitors. It’s hard to see InsideToronto pulling out of this nosedive. The math just no longer makes sense.

That’s great for advertisers, but a tragedy for journalists, and the people who depend on them.

And make no mistake: we all depend on journalists, even small-town, underpaid, and over-worked journalists. Sunlight is the best disinfectant,  but the prospect of being dragged into the light is the best deterrent. Community newspapers provided that deterrent, and their loss is our loss.

 


P.S.

I know we might be accused of helping putting a hobnail in the coffin of the newspapers—after all, Roy and I work for free. But honestly, I don’t think that’s the case, and I’d be sad if it were. Obviously, almost nobody reads us. But also, I’d like to think that we had a synergy with the established papers. We always linked rather than copied, and we publish all of our material with a public domain license so that it’s free for the taking.

 

 

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

One thought on “Another loss to media in York South–Weston”

  1. This truly stinks.

    Sure, some might very well argue that this conclusion was long overdue. And, they wouldn’t be completely wrong in that observation & sentiment.

    But, living in a democracy and being able to check the news and the varied sources & biases has always been essential toward a better understanding of the world around us. And, it’s never been that easy to do.

    Because really, who has that kind of time?

    You know, to sift through layers of sources, rhetoric & story telling in order to gain a better understanding. And then perhaps, to arrive at a palatable & agreeable consensus. Or, the debatable “truth”.

    The “truth” has not always been easy to recognize, especially when some story tellers seemingly commit or omit many important layers & elements for a proper or better story tell, for varied reasons – their own, or perhaps that of their editors or publishers.

    These days, despite living in a digital world it’s still sometimes difficult to “check” or cross reference the story. Much story telling is shared verbatim when you do take the time to check, and the distractions are many.

    In addition, it’s cold comfort when any given political regime with an obvious desire to continue governing announces that we shouldn’t worry about another news service falling by the wayside – because they’ll be happy to help get the news out to us, through their press releases and news letters!

    It might not seem important, but good and varied sources of information is vital to our well being. And, as some of us have mentioned before, this site is not the problem. We’re lucky to have it – compared to just having Facebook & twitter news in the ‘hood.

    So, thanks again, guys.

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