Local newspapers play an essential role in keeping communities informed, engaged, and thriving by providing diverse, local, credible news and information that cannot be found anywhere else. Newspapers are the glue that keeps communities connected and are crucial players in the local economies where they operate; they are real-life superheroes who keep our democracy thriving.
Why does original, local content matter? It allows Canadians from all walks of life to tell their stories and feel heard, creating a sense of togetherness in communities from coast to coast to coast. Whether reporting on a local charity fundraiser, international conflict, or even a global pandemic, strong local journalism gives readers credible information when they need it. While many of us agree that the credible, independent reporting newspapers provide is an essential public service – something that has and should always be available – many of us forget that this level of reporting requires a significant investment of both time and resources.
The last few years have shown us the importance of supporting and investing in local communities. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many small businesses faced unprecedented challenges. Newspapers across the country worked tirelessly to provide these businesses with a voice to amplify their message, shining a light on their work and emphasizing the value of “supporting local”. While newspapers continue to play a vital role in supporting and standing up for small businesses, this is not new or out of the ordinary. Community news media have always supported local economies by spotlighting local stores and entrepreneurs, supporting community initiatives, and providing local advertising options to speak directly to customers.
Local newspapers are also champions for democracy, providing Canadians with essential information to spark meaningful conversations about their community and country at large. The work of newspaper journalists, editors, fact-checkers, and more, provides readers with the tools they need to make informed decisions, empowering them to advocate for what they believe in. Newspapers allow communities to form their local identities by sharing stories and information that make a difference.
That is why each year, the news media industry and its readers are invited to celebrate National Newspaper Week (Oct. 2-8) – an ode to our real-life superheroes and a chance to honour the work Canadian newspapers do each and every day to keep Canadians informed and connected.
Learn more about National Newspaper Week at nationalnewspaperweek.ca.