I believed I had chosen a profession where I would make a difference and what I wrote would impact people’s lives. I also expected to retire from this profession. That was not to be.
— Theresa Fritz, former managing editor of Metroland Media East.
Before the final Ottawa Community News editions land on doorsteps Jan. 11, Theresa Fritz wrote a suitable signoff message to readers about the passion of community journalism.
Eight area newspapers are being closed after a trade between two of Canada’s largest newspaper chains. Previously owned by Torstar Corp., the community papers were acquired in November by Postmedia Network Canada Corp., which promptly announced their closure.
Another paper involved in the deal, Metro Ottawa, closed in November.
“It’s business and it happens. But, for me, it’s personal,” wrote Fritz in her signoff.
— OttawaCommunityNews (@OTcommunitynews) January 5, 2018
Some have stepped up to help fill the hole that the closures will create.
Michael Wollock, a former publisher of several community newspapers in Ottawa, told CBC he will re-launch some papers in mid-to-late February, with a combined circulation of up to 80,000 homes. According to CBC’s article, communities served will include Alta Vista, Greenboro, Hunt Club, Stittsville, Kanata and Richmond.
In addition to Wollock’s soon-to-come papers, Richmond’s community association has taken the initiative to launch its own online news outlet, richmondhub.ca. On top of that, the Manotick Messenger announced it would expand its circulation and coverage into Richmond. Its first edition to be available in Richmond will be published Jan. 12.
See also: List of Ottawa community news outlets