Mackenzie Times Final Edition
Prince George, B.C. – It is a paper that has been the community connection in Mackenzie for nearly as long as that community has existed. Yesterday the Mackenzie Times printed its final edition, another victim of a changing media landscape.“It’s sad” says editor Jackie Benton, ,”But it’s just not feasible to keep printing, when you look at the numbers, it was just time.”
The Mackenzie Times has served that community for 40 years, but Benton says with a drop in advertising revenue, there just weren’t enough dollars coming in to carry on. National advertisers are moving to digital media says Benton, and without those dollars, the paper cannot survive. “It has been a challenge” writes Benton in the final edition “and when there is not the revenue coming in that is needed, then the writing is on the wall.”
Owned by Great Thunder Holdings from Toronto, Benton says the closure will mean a loss of jobs for herself and two other office staffers as well as two stuffers, 6 carriers one production person, the printer, and the people who deliver the paper and the flyers.
The decision is already being felt in the community says Benton ” It’s been quite emotional for the community, it is their connection to the community, it binds us all together.”
It will also have an impact on the District of Mackenzie. Under the Community Charter, public hearings and other legal notices must be published in the community’s printed newspaper at least two weeks in advance of a hearing or event. The loss of the Times means the District won’t have a place to fulfill that legal requirement.
In the final paragraph of her column in the last edition, Benton writes “Thank you to those that have supported us throughout the years. It is unfortunate that we have lost an icon of the community, a voice, a place to share our thoughts and words, a place where the news was investigated and told, not just hearsay.”
The image of the first edition of the “Times” bears the headline “Sign of the Times”, a phrase that was as true on the day it began as it is for the final edition.