January 29, 2016

Today’s front page of the day comes from Canada’s Guelph Mercury, which published a print edition for the last time on Friday. The 149-year-old paper’s final front led with -30-, which the newspaper explained was a print tradition. “The tradition faded as computers replaced typewriters in newsrooms. But, for anyone who cares about journalism, -30- will always mean ‘the end.'”

The paper has 23 full-time employees and 3 part-time employees, CBC News reported.

Staff at the Guelph Mercury were told they don’t have to continue working this week after news came that Friday’s print edition is the last ever, but one long-time reporter said he and his colleagues will carry on.

‘Newspapers, it’s not just a job for the people who have worked there,’ Tony Saxon, a 20-year veteran with the Mercury, told The Morning Edition host Craig Norris Tuesday, a day after staff were told the print edition would no longer be published after this week.

See also: Another Canadian paper went -30- today

The Mercury reported the details of the decision on Monday.

Publisher Donna Luelo expressed regret at the decision, but said shuttering the print edition was the only viable option. A regional digital team would continue to put out a web version.

The CBC reported Thursday that people showed up at the newspaper to thank reporters and hug the building.

On Thursday, Guelph mayor Cam Guthrie started the Twitter hashtag #ThankTheMerc.

‘Take a moment and let’s thank them. Let’s give them a proper send off,’ Guthrie wrote on his blog.

Following the hug mob, neighbouring bar The Albion Hotel opened its second floor for those who wanted to celebrate what the Mercury has meant to the community.

The tweets and the front page offer something a lot of newspapers don’t get before closing — the chance to say goodbye.

Here’s the Mercury’s final front, via Newseum. The story on the left is a tribute to the building and what happened inside. On the right, there’s a final column. But notice that the paper didn’t totally blow up the front page format. At the bottom, you’ll still find a refer to the next day’s weather:

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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