Small town newspapers are the soul of their communities

Some news organizations are thriving in the new environment. Others are struggling

Last Friday your editor finished judging for Ontario Community Newspapers Association‘s general excellence competition. The judging was for the smallest circulation class (under 2,000) and so the newspapers were similar in size to the Times.

The next step will be for OCNA to combine my scores with another editor’s scores. We then will have a conference call to decide who the eventual winners will be.

Looking through the entries (there were seven this year), I was struck by how diverse they were but also by how much they had in common.

All were tabloids, but their sizes ranged from 12 pages to 36.

Being small circulation newspapers, they all were essentially one-person newsrooms, although a few might have one or two reporters to help out.

One editor wrote well but her photography and page organization were weak. Another was very strong on photography and page organization, but the writing was mediocre.

Each newspaper submitted two issues, one from June of last year, the other from September.

One newspaper seemed to have a hard time finding enough news to fill its September entry. For its June entry, however, there was a flood to cover, and it did an excellent job.

We are going through a time of transition in the newspaper industry.

Some news organizations are thriving in the new environment. Others are struggling.

The big city papers were hit first, but now the trend is reaching down into the small community newspapers.

The internet, social media, and just how people live their lives are all affecting circulation and advertising revenues everywhere.

Looking through those small town newspapers from Ontario was a privilege. It was a reminder of how important good, responsible journalism can be to a small community.

The Clearwater-North Thompson Times has been the newspaper of record for the upper North Thompson Valley since 1964.

Through good news and bad, we have tried to let you, our readers, know what is going on in your own communities.


Last year we celebrated our 50th anniversary. We look forward to serving you for at least another 50 more.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vavenby resident working at refuge witnesses volcano eruption

By Robyn Rexin Twenty-seven-year-old Vavenby resident Vienna Moilliet is working as a… Continue reading

Back in time

55 YEARS AGO: A toboggan party was enjoyed by the Teen Town… Continue reading

Clearwater’s North Thompson Complex packed with Winterfest fun

By K.A. Pendergrast Friday, Jan.17 helped kick off the Clearwater Hockey Days/Winterfest… Continue reading

Literacy Week coming to Clearwater with lots of reading-related events

Clearwater will be celebrating Family Literacy Week (Jan. 26 to Feb. 2)… Continue reading

Don’t be surprised to see Vikings in Wells Gray

The Vikings are coming to Clearwater. On Feb. 1, the Wells Gray… Continue reading

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Coastal GasLink work camp in Vanderhoof gets approved by the ALC

The work camp behind the Vanderhoof airport was first rejected by the commission in October last year

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read