It’s hardly news any more, but dozens of small communities in Canada lost their newspapers this past week. It came about because of some highly questionable corporate skullduggery involving the Toronto Star, and Postmedia. The latter company still owns daily papers in Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg, and there are undoubtedly betting pools on when those publications will close their doors.
Forgive the grim imagery, but it’s rather like standing outside your house as it slowly burns to the ground, and the fire department won’t do anything because they don’t believe in “supporting business models that are no longer viable”. Those were the immortal recent words from the mouth of Justin Trudeau’s Culture and Heritage minister, Melanie Joly when she was asked why there will be no government help for daily journalism in Canada.
Joly and the government still have some belief in Canadian magazines.
I’m thinking that it might be time to put Maclean’s out of its misery. It now appears in my mailbox only once a month, which means it sits in the bathroom reading rack for a full month.
Long ago, Maclean’s had bureaus and stringers across the prairies. These days they occasionally send out raiding parties to shoot the wounded it seems. Their latest prairie target is the community of North Battleford which the magazine has christened ‘Canada’s most dangerous city’. Really?
It’s a beautiful place, not far from where Louis Riel fought his last stand in the Northwest Rebellion 132 years ago.
They’ve had more than their share of problems since then.
They had to endure more than one crisis with tainted drinking water resulting in some folks dying.
These days it’s criminal gangs. Community leaders are doing the best they can, just like their counterparts in Winnipeg and Regina’s North Central have done in years past .
How quickly we forgot how Maclean’s branded those places, before moving on.
My only question, where will we read about such danger in the future when there are no magazines?
I’m Roger Currie