We haven’t left. We’re still here.
Others have gone…but Hometown News is still on the streets.
For a week or two we thought there wouldn’t be any papers in Smiths Falls. Metroland closed down and there was some talk of Hometown News closing, too.
Happily that didn’t happen…here we still are, thank goodness!
People often told me Hometown News was better than the ‘other’ paper…but, when talking to a Hometown News reporter, what else can you say?
We weren’t better, just different.
They came out weekly, we come out monthly. They had all the classifieds; we didn’t.
Their paper came with weekly flyers, delivered to front doorsteps; ours is available at stores — Andress’ and The Garden Market, for two.
It’s not as though we arent a little releived that the competition is gone, but as Patricia Krotki, publisher of Hometown News, says: “With the recent departure of [The Record News], we had no choice but to step up.
”The top down model of community news where large news organizations produce [small community papers] doesn’t seem to be sustainable anymore. The heart of community comes from within, from the people who live here, work here and are invested in our community.
“We’ll keep going as long as there’s support from local government, advertisers, and readership.” The readership, she adds, is strong.
(Did you know we’ve been here 10 years?)
And there are still lots of community newspapers around. Take, for instance, John Fenik, former mayor of Perth and now newspaper mogul in Westport; he recently bought The Review Mirror.
The Kitchissippi Times, an Ottawa community newspaper, was founded by Ottawa’s present mayor Mark Sutcliffe.
(Mayors and newspapers are attracted to one another! Limelight, I suspect…)
One reader, Terry Watkiss, says about small local papers “…they make the community a community.”
Another, Kim Ducharme, says we still need them for seniors “who may not be too tech savvy. It keeps them connected, otherwise they become isolated.”
Tara McNeil, who lays out Hometown News, adds her thoughts. “Sure, they keep us informed with the latest events, news, and happenings in our own backyard but they also foster a stronger connection.
“They’re invaluable — they give us affordable and effective advertising platforms that help businesses connect with members of the local community.
“The benefits are clear,” she adds. “Strong local business communities create jobs, keep tax dollars local and strengthen the local infrastructure.
“It’s the small things that make a big difference!” Interested in small newspapers? Go to https://ottawastart.com/a-list-of-community-news-outlets-in-ottawa/ for a list of 30.