January 29, 2016

I wrote about the final print edition of Canada’s Guelph Mercury on Friday morning and the fitting front the paper offered the community. Had I scrolled Newseum’s collection down a bit further, I would have noticed another Canadian paper ran a final edition with a -30- on Friday. Thanks to a commenter on Russ Kendall’s “What’s Your Plan B?” Facebook group for pointing it out.

Here’s the front page of the 141-year-old Nanaimo Daily News, via Newseum:


I emailed H.G. Watson, associate editor of The Canadian Journalism Project’s J-Source, for some context.

“The short answer is that I think it’s just a horrible coincidence that two Canadian papers are shutting down on the same day with similar covers,” she said.

The papers have different owners — Nanaimo Daily News is owned by Black Press and The Guelph Mercury is owned by Metroland Media, Watson said, which is owned by Torstar. Black Press closed the Alberni Valley Times in the fall.

Watson wrote about that paper’s closing and said “they told other media it was because the losses were too high, which is about what they said when I reached out to talk with them about the Times.”

“Torstar does have a stake in Black Press, but it’s 19 percent,” she said. “But aside from that, nothing that I know of connects the papers aside from closing down on the same day.”

J-Source published a piece by Paul Walton on the end of the paper. Walton has worked at the paper since 1993.

The ongoing task of clarifying that concept of democracy has belonged to the daily newspaper.

The work of journalists and editors has been to translate democracy from a sometimes vague concept into a reality that we can all understand, act on and use. It is job so important and so challenging that it must be renewed every day.

When I started at the Daily Free Press in 1993, that process was in full swing. We covered areas where your awareness, understanding and input were vital; at city hall, the courts, school board and health to name a few. We scrutinized areas where those in authority would be held to account in the event that authority was abused.

Like journalists at Guelph Mercury, journalists at Nanaimo Daily News tweeted their goodbyes.

Here’s one more that a reader mentioned in our Facebook comments, and it’s from last year:

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 4.36.04 PM

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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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