It’s not a big survey sample, but the comments I receive are pretty consistent in their message: people are glad to have a local newspaper. New residents often express surprise that a community of this size can support its own paper, but the reason for this is clear – we have advertisers who support it. Since the format of the paper changed to a free monthly more than a year ago, it’s the advertisers who cover all of our expenses, and it’s a formula that at least for now, is working well.
If you aren’t convinced that a local paper is useful, consider the area without one. How often would Peterborough reporters come to our Council meetings, visit our schools or speak to our service clubs and businesses? You may be like 86% of respondents to a June Abacus Data survey who felt they would still be able to get the news they need if their local daily failed. After all, we are inundated with information these days. However a recent story in the Globe and Mail about how the city of Guelph is coping since the demise of its local daily indicated that Guelphites feel the loss, and many of them are surprised by this feeling. They miss having open discussions about what is important to Guelph. They face pressure from growth, and a local paper helps newcomers understand their new community and encourages them to participate in it. We hope to do the same as residents arrive in our new developments.
My mission for the paper is to provide a vehicle to promote the individuals, businesses, service groups and government agencies whose efforts improve our quality of life. Fortunately we have gifted and committed columnists whose contributions greatly improve the breadth and depth of our reporting. It’s a paper for the people and much of it written by the people, because it’s not just my community, it belongs to us all. Let’s keep it going as long as we can by thanking those who do the work and foot the bill- our columnists and advertisers. KG
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