It’s a piece of news that shocked newsies in the area.
Glacier Media is pulling the plug on Kamloops Daily News, a paper with an 80-year history in the city just up the road from Merritt.
While in the most cynical way, it’s good for our sister paper and fellow Aberdeen Publishing product Kamloops This Week, the closure is definitely bad news for people working in our industry.
As much as the two papers were competitors, in a way, they were also comrades in a battle to keep newspapers alive and viable across the country.
It hits home when it happens to a newspaper that you read.
About six months ago, I read an article about the Sun Media chain’s closure of several weekly community newspapers. Many of those papers were ones I’d applied to work at. I had researched them and read back issues, and felt confident they were good quality papers that I could see myself working at.
It happened to a paper I used to write for in Winnipeg, which changed from a standalone alternative weekly to an insert in the big newspaper there and laid off its whole staff in the process.
The media landscape is changing, and, sadly, newspapers are shrinking. I still don’t think community newspapers will disappear entirely. They are small, but in small communities, they are an indicator of the health of a town.
Newspapers reflect the challenges and successes of communities and their members, and many of those members are actively interested in the health of their communities — as they should be.
According to social media, news of the closure is sad for many people — the soon-to-be-unemployed staffers among them.
Should those people with plenty of newspaper experience choose to stay in the industry, that means even more competition in an already competitive field, more people for a limited — and shrinking — number of jobs.
It’s a double-edged sword for our sister paper, which will be increasing to three editions per week from two. I’m sure the staff over at Kamloops This Week is keenly aware that the loss of a long-time competitor may be a symptom of changing markets.
When a newspaper goes under, especially one this close, it’s hard to shake that sense of dread for the industry as a whole.
Glacier Media still has dozens of publications throughout B.C., but it almost makes you wonder what’s next.
It’s already difficult to make a go of working in the newspaper industry, but this news represents that tougher times are ahead.