250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 27, 2017 3:30 pm

Northern B.C’s First Independent Online News Site to Close

Friday, September 15, 2017 @ 7:59 AM

Prince George, B.C. – 250News is closing.

“This has been a very difficult decision  for me” says Elaine Macdonald-Meisner,  co founder of the popular independent  online news site  which will post its last story on  Saturday September 30th.

“250News  is a 24 hour, seven day a week  operation which requires a  great deal of time and energy to maintain.  Since the passing of my husband and  partner in this business,  Ben Meisner, it  just hasn’t been the same.”

Macdonald-Meisner  and  her late husband Ben,  started  the website on May 13, 2005.  At the time,  getting  news from the internet was a relatively new idea,  in fact, 250 News ( first called Opinon250)  was the  first independent online news service  in Northern B.C.

Both seasoned journalists (at the time he had he with 50 years experience  she had  30)  starting up an online news site seemed  a natural move.

There were skeptics, other members of the media were  taking bets that  the  new  venture by the Meisners wouldn’t last 6 months. Some  leaders in the community  refused to be  interviewed by  250News saying it wasn’t  a ‘credible’ news source.

Well  more than 12 years later,  the company is strong,  it racked up  14.4 million page views  in the first 8 months of this year,  and  had  accumulated  half a million  viewers in  those  same 8 months.

“I am so very proud of what Ben and I were able to accomplish, something which  would not have been possible  had it not been for the  support from  advertisers who shared our vision and  understood the  internet would  be a powerful medium”  says Macdonald-Meisner.  Of course,  there  would be  no  success story to share if it were not for the  talented people who worked with  250News over the years, and the readers who  embraced 250News as  their own  says Macdonald-Meisner “It was a platform  where they could  get  information  faster  and could  comment  on the issues  as  they were presented.  They could also  stay in touch with ‘home’ no matter where they were.  Our  readers called us,  emailed us,  texted, to share newstips, or  images they had captured, it was their  work that helped make  250News  a success. I am deeply grateful  for their contributions and support.”

But  every  book, even one  you  don’t want to  put down, comes to an end,  and Macdonald-Meisner says  the success story that is 250News has reached that point “I know there will be many who will be disappointed,  perhaps even angry that 250News will be no more,  and to them,  please accept  my apology,  but this is the best decision for  me.”

“Since Ben’s untimely passing, Elaine has carried the 250 News torch well and admirably” says Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall, ” As an organization, 250 News has also employed many talented journalists over the years and we would like to thank her for her business investment in our city. On behalf of Council and the residents of Prince George, I wish to congratulate and thank Elaine and the entire 250 News team both past and present for their invaluable contribution to Prince George. We are going to miss this organization and we wish Elaine all the very best in her next adventure.”


Wishing you all the best for the future and many thanks for providing an informative and worthy site for all to value greatly! It will me sorely missed! PrinceGeorge.

This is a tough story to read.. 250 has been my go-to for many years now, and the only local news source that I enjoy. All the best to everyone involved.

Sorry to see you goood. Take care, good health and happiness

So very sad to hear. Elaine, you and Ben did an incredible job of keeping us all so very well informed and your coverage of fires and evacs has been outstanding. I simply wish you the best life has to offer and a very happy future as well as the folks who work with you.
Ben, you’re out there somewhere, thankyou.

250 news was an excellent source of news to the community and a great place to express ones opinion even though many are afraid to do this in society
The PG citizen is very poor in comparison to the 250 news, too much garbage printed……………….

Congratulations on your run Elaine.

I come to this site first for all regional news and visit probably 5 to 10 times a day. Best and most timely, intimate coverage online for this city.

Going to miss it terribly, but I understand the reasons.

Thanks for all the fantastic coverage of BC and the area over the years, and your impecccable writing and gracious handling of news and and the lively debate in the Friday Free for All and article comments.

I think the Friday Free for All was sheer genius. It was unique and I know it could be challenging for you, yet it was a fun place to take the temperature of the locals over issues.

Where oh where shall we go?

Perhaps this will be a good thing to help deal with my news addiction!

All the best.

    Good point BCGrog. Where shall we go????

So disappointed, but I understand. What you and Ben have done for the whole North goes above and beyond what anyone could expect. Thank you for everything and on behalf of this corner of the north here’shoping that some wise and competent group buys the business and carries the torch

Thanks fir all you have done… Opinion250 was a breath of fresh air in the news field.

To all my “friends” who I have agreed with, disagreed with and everyone in between in the comment sections…thanks for the banter. Be safe and well to all.

As I read this news, the emotions that came up were like I had just lost a great friend. Today will be like a mourning time for me. Being from out west, this site has given me news that I couldn’t get elsewhere. First thing I look at in the morning and then a couple times during the day. Good luck Elaine, you and your team will be missed. Especially Friday Free For All….

Take care Elaine you will be missed, Thank you.

Thank you for all that you have both done for this community, Elaine. Opinion 250 will be greatly missed by all, most definitely by myself.

Very sad to hear this news. Thank you for providing this valuable service to the community You will definately be missed.

This is not good news but you gotta do what’s best for you!

So long and thanks for all you’ve done.

When I log into that hotmail account that I used for this site, the only email sitting in my inbox is one from Ben. He’s telling me to behave and after all these years I still can’t bring myself to delete it. :)

Happy Retirement Elaine and best wishes for your new adventures. 250News will certainly be missed by many and few will be breathing a sigh of relief (who will hold our politician’s feet to the fire now?) Your late husband “Ben” was a voice for the north and for the average citizen of Prince George. Who will rise up now? Thank You again and you did an amazing job (in Ben’s absence) to foster debate and opinion which is healthy for our community. :)

Good riddance. This site has been hijacked by a half dozen loopy left shills for years. The reporting is reasonably balanced but the commentary, and the censorship of alternate points of view, has been deplorable.
If you’re not a pre-programmed NDP robot you won’t miss this site.

    mgomez. Isn’t it time for your nap.??

    That’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black!

    There is always none in every group. I am glad we never make statues to critics. People who do great work will always be criticized by those who …

As all good things must come to an end have a great retirement from the media and thanks for the website that has kept us informed on the goings on of our city, province, country and world and sometimes even further out in the cosmos

I was sad when Crazy Willy’s closed and now sad that as of the end of the month I no longer have an iPad site to read with my breakfast

Thank you for the time you and Ben have spent reporting the local news

    PS I heard this news on CBC radio 1 first this morning as my boy was on YouTube with my iPad before school. It already has momentum

Thank you from thousands!! We will miss the timely articles and current events. Hopefully someone/organization can try to fill your shoes. Otherwise we have the Citizen to get yesterdays news tomorrow.

I too am very sad to hear of this. Elaine, smart decision to take care of yourself and your needs first. If there is anything I have learned from my time on earth, it is that you have to tend to your needs first because no one else will do it for you, especially when it comes to the workplace.

Take care and thank you for many good years of news reporting. I will sure miss this site.

Good riddance. This site has been hijacked by a half dozen loopy left shills for years. The reporting is reasonably balanced but the commentary, and the censorship of alternate points of view, has been deplorable.
If you’re not a pre-programmed NDP robot you won’t miss this site
This is a good one. Its been one of the sad things about 250 and that is the political hacks that always had to have the last word.

Because I lived in PG for more then 30 years and used 250 as an information source of my old home but the polecat hacks had be degrading my new home.

Best wishes on your endeavors what ever they maybe Elaine

    Sniff, sniff, whats that smell, oh manure.

      Your a hair brain. I just commented on the political bias that some have on this site

      You’re = You are.

Very sad indeed but I do understand the reasons. This “Intrepid Reporter” knew Ben and has come to know and appreciate Elaine very much. I will miss our talks as I shared many an experience from my time on the road and many a time called to ask “Hey Elaine, you are in the know. What the hell is going on with . . .”. The two of you, with help from many others at 250News have provided us with an amazing local perspective on the news that will be missed. Enjoy your retirement Elaine. I will miss you dearly. Sincerely; Carl Thorlakson

Should of read “political” but polecats is also appropriate.

How am I going to start off my day? 250news will be really missed. I have enjoyed participating in the site. There is nothing else quite like it anywhere else but as they say, “All good things come to an end.”

    To all those who have wondered about my identity, my name is Bryan Llewellyn and I ran for the NDP in 2001. I quite enjoyed doing so, as well

      ndp….who would have guessed:P

      Well, nobody of course, since I identified myself as a New Democrat years ago and repeated it several times. Why do you appear to be surprised?

      People won’t remember a post you made years agt your affiliation with the NDP but as the poster notes above it is no surprise.

      I had you pegged as a woman. Don’t know why, perhaps it’s the user name.

      Everyone should post for the remainder of this site with their real names. Could be interestingly quiet..?

      Cheers Bryan, we rarely were on the same page but the debates were always great…!

Congratulations Elaine. 250 News will be greatly missed.

It saddens me, as this site since 2005 has been my go to. I will surely miss it and will miss the more up to date information and news as no other in the north brings the news as quickly in my opinion.

Be proud of what you and Ben accomplished as well as the other journalist over the years. You all will be missed.

It is with a broken heart a goodbye. I have met you and Ben many times over the years and this site feels like I have lost another friend. Best wishes for the future to all of you.

I have been on the site since it started, (responsible for more than my share of the hits I’m sure), in the past as a different username and I have to say this is sad news. It hasn’t been the same since Ben passed away and it seems now is a good time to move on.
The site has always been inundated by the loopy left and loopy right, but this is no different than any other comment sections.
Goid luck to Elaine and the rest of those who kept ‘Opinion250’ Going for the last 12 years. Peace out.

Thank you for everything you & Ben have done, as was posted above, both of you went well above & beyond the call of duty. Best wishes & luck in whatever future path in life that you decide to take. Cheers!!

I’m going to be sorry to see 250News go.
I wish Elaine Macdonald-Meisner all the best in her retirement.
I am curious however, as to why instead of closing down 250News altogether, she didn’t choose to sell instead?
Surely someone out there has the talent to continue to run 250News?
Losing 250News will leave a huge gap in local news reporting; it is the best site out there, hands down.

    Producing good original content takes time and effort. Journalism is a tough way to make a living nowadays. I can’t imagine Elaine made a ton of money from this site and advertisers.

EEEK Oh no!!!! What will I do? 250 has been my home page for years. I’m panicking over here!

I truly understand the need to move on. Good Luck to you (Elaine) and everyone that works at opinion 250.

Time I guess for some of us to move on as well. My only other news source has been ABC Communications. I guess that will be my homepage for a while. Perhaps this will get me away from my lap top.

Wow! When I talk about a successful blog I always mention 250 News or Opinion 250. You did a great job and thank you for all the great work you did Elaine!

I wish you all the best!

Excellent work from start to end. This site is my go to place for Hwy 16 news. All good things must come to an end sooner or later.

Peace out 250news.com

Thank you Elaine (you too Ben!) For your humour, your work and your friendship. 250 has been an important forum here in the North; I’m going to miss it. I know you won’t vanish, but don’t be a stranger… I think I will leave you on my media email loop just for old times sake. Seriously, you made a huge contribution here and I know it took a huge sacrifice for you to do it. Thank you. Enjoy your retirement. Hugs!

Your great, Your work is great and im sure whatever you do with your time now will be great. Thank you for your service to our city!

Since all good things at some point come to an end I wish you the very best in the future. You will be sadly missed as you did a terrific job of keepng us updated on current events in the area.

I hope you go for that long run on the bras dor lakes I known you two loved it there

Sorry to see this site closing. But you are entitled to ‘retirement’!!
Now, where do we go for the REAL NEWS FROM AND FOR THE NORTH?

250 News leaving will leave a huge hole in the News Arena. There is no place else
that you can get news 24/7 make a comment a have a huge discussion for the rest of the day.

We could get points of view from all people in the huge area that 250 covered, so in addition to the news, and articles, we could also get other peoples insight into the various issues that were being discussed. The fact that it was instant, and interesting was what made it so good.

I am aware of the intensely hard work going on behind the scenes to make this site a success, and how those kinds of hours can wear you down.

Thanks Elaine I appreciate all you and Ben have done for me over the years.

Oh no! Please say it isn’t so. :( I wish that it could be sold off to someone else who is as responsible and diligent as Elaine and her team, and the legacy continued.

Thank you Elaine for everything you’ve done over the years. 250news.com has been my first stop for so long I can’t remember what it was previously.

Best wishes for the future, Live long and prosper!


Next up, The Citizen.

To Elaine and Ben

Thank you , you will be greatly missed.

Thank you, Elaine.
Your dedication and high industry standard is well remember and appreciated by your readers. With the start of Opinion250 and the great run of 250news, you and Ben have made PG so proud.
Now go and gave an awesome retirement.

Darn. I finally signed up for an account and now your closing. To bad for us. Job well done Elaine and crew. Good luck to you all.

I think 250news was the right product for the right time with the right people involved in making it what it is.

250news gave a voice for the north in northern issues providing insight into issues at a time of great media consolidation. With MSM consolidating into conglomerates with cookie cutter ‘synergies’ in the news room and little to no investigative reporting either locally or nationally… the field was ripe for an on the scene reporting, timely updated, and an openly transparent forum for the brainstorming public on issues that matter.

I think 250news set a new standard for bringing online content to smaller and rural type markets; and I had hoped that this was just a small irritation of a much larger movement… maybe even a movement towards community operated, non profit, free speech zones (within reason) that could fill the failing role of the 5th estate that is so essential to having an informed citizenry that can safeguard or democracy.

I think Bed and Elaine did a great job building 250news to where it is today, and I can see that this would be a tiring job in light of Bens passing… surprised the Elaine kept it all together as long as she has with some of the vitriolic attitudes of some of the posters that would certainly get tiring. But I think the greatest thing that Ben and Elaine brought to 250news was integrity. Integrity is such a hard commodity to come across these days and having a fair and balanced moderator (even when we disagreed) I think brought legitimacy to this web site that did so much to teach us about ourselves, or region, our politics and reflecting this upon the wider world like non other.

I wish Elaine a long relaxing and rewarding retirement and all the best in her future endeavors. I hope she reconsiders closing 250news though; as its too important for our local democracy having this kind of media infrastructure available to the people so that all viewpoints and perspectives can be considered and through this a greater analysis and revelations of truth can be exposed that we can not get with passive cookie cutter marketing media for the highest bidder.

I wonder if it would be possible to see 250news platform transferred through a financial transaction for goodwill and all… to some kind of consortium of local interest groups like the regional district, local municipalities, local print and radio media, as well as others that could ensure continuity indefinitely for the good of local reporting and journalism that safeguards the idea of a role for the 5th estate in the proper functioning of our democracy. An immortal legacy of sorts? A sort of non profit locally oriented Drudge Report angle to sourcing various local media in one location leveraging the combined readership of all the media outlets combined riding on the success of 250news….

Just yesterday while reading the PG Citizen, I noticed their announcement that their subscription rates would be increasing. I called the Citizen’s office to ask how much the increase would be as I have been seriously considering cancelling my subscription as I often found the Citizen as they say, a day late and a dollar short.

Looks like I’ll keep my subscription, at least for a while as today, we learn that Elaine and Op250 are indeed showing us that for everything, there is a season!

Even as their “season” comes to an end, I am grateful that whether I was in the lower mainland, the Okanagan, Alberta, the Peace River country, wherever, I was able to log onto Op250 to find out what was going on at home!

I won’t say that I am sorry and I won’t say that I am sad to see Elaine and Op250 go. Doing so implies that I don’t want them to go. I believe that everybody deserves to be happy and that everybody should do what is right for them. If this is their time, the end to their season, then instead I wish Elaine and her staff well in wherever life takes them. May each new turn lead you down a better path!

Enjoy your retirement Elaine!

Sad to see this go..This site has been always my “go to” for immediate news in our region (and some healthy debate in the forums)..I wish everyone well and hopefully someone picks up the torch and does something similar to this..But we still have till the end of the month to bust eachother in the comments. Nah.. I think it’s time to lay down the arms and let it be.. Cheers everyone. It’s been a slice…!!

Thank you to the Meisener family for your passion & contribution..!

September 30 will be a sad day. Thank you Elaine and all your staff for keeping us updated with news that is important to us. You’ll be greatly missed.

Yesterday verklempt. Today just choked up and sad. Partly for the shutting down of this site but more (still) for the loss of Ben to Elaine and family. I admired the strength Elaine showed when she picked up the torch after Ben’s passing and carried on for the average Jane and Joes of the interior of the province. And yes even that one guy from the 604 area. We are all going to dearly miss you and this site Elaine. Goodbye and have a happy retirement!

Reading this makes me feel like I just lost a great friend close to me.As many other people this was my go to page in the morning to get the latest happenings in PG and area. especially when I am out of town or on vacation. Truly miss you and thanks so much for all the good reads.

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