Community newspapers in Quebec have been put through the gauntlet over the past few years.
With the sale announced last week of the Journal le St-François, and with it The Gleaner, the significance of local news has once again been affirmed.
The new owner has referred to the six newspapers now grouped under Gravité Media as the best papers in Quebec, while noting their reputation for quality local coverage as well as a strong sense of ownership amongst readers in each of their respective regions.
Community newspapers in Quebec have been put through the gauntlet over the past few years with numerous large-scale changes in ownership, closures and amalgamations. But one thing that has not changed throughout all of this turmoil is the dedication of those behind the pages printed and delivered each week. There is a strong belief that community newspapers unite us, and that a sense of belonging to the region can be crafted by something as simple as reading about the success of local events as a shared experience. Our local newspapers are especially important in that they keep us connected to reality on a local scale at a time when news of events happening around the world comes at us from so many sources. The value of a community newspaper is that it is able to evolve and develop new ways of serving readers while at the same time working to strengthen our communities.
And so, as the future of The Gleaner is once again up for question, it is extremely important that we remind those taking over the office of exactly how much the local paper means to all of us in the Valley, as readers, as potential advertisers, and as a community.