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.
The paper was just a goofy means of delivering flyers, the last 15 years, for all markets and cities.
Papers got cheap, either not having enough reporters out looking for stories or not wanting to pay for stories… Look at our Citizen here… Nothing in the paper… gets thinner as time goes by and they already dropped Monday’s paper
Just to back you up on that..The news content of the paper is getting thinner while the flyers are getting thicker..I don’t remember the last time I read a news paper and its mainly because I can select the news I want online as well the flyers drive me nuts..The weekly free Citizen goes straight to the recycle bin or fire starter bin..And pretty much the only “flyer” I will read is the real estate flyer.
On the other side of the coin.. It is a shame that a small community newspaper was forced to close..Perhaps there is an opportunity in Mackenzie now for a small proprietorship to take up the slack..
ohh before anybody says its the advertizers that keep the paper going, who wants to advertize in a paper that is getting thinner
Ever since the advent of social media papers which were already on a downward slide slid even more there will be a use for paper media for some time but the question is for how long
In North America the US and Canada are 1 and 2 in the world for producing dailies almost every city over 40k had at least one daily and almost every city and town had a weekly of some kind in most of the rest of the world most countries had a national paper or the major cities had a daily but smaller cities didn’t. It was after the meltdown of 2008 one of the biggest losers was newsprint with hundreds scaling back or stopping production alone in North America but in Canada there are some 550 dailies and weeklies still in print it is still a major industry but it has seen its heyday.
Papers often had their own reporters and news teams now most get their news from a few sources and many papers don’t even have a local scene reporter anymore
PG in this respect can count itself lucky per se yes it has been scaled back and yes they have cut back staff but regardless your opinion of the paper we still have a daily whereas Kamloops no longer has one and Kelowna is on the verge of losing theirs PG is still seen as going strong in a more globalized atmosphere.
It’s sad to see newspapers folding.
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