EDITORIAL: Newspapers do matter

Help us remind local businesses, advertisers and governments that newspaper journalism is critically important

Newspapers stitch our communities together – questioning what needs questioning, narrating Canada’s history, and serving as the voice of our democracy. Eight in 10 Canadians read a newspaper every week — either in print or online – including 85 per cent of millennials. And still, newspapers are in a battle for survival.

For years, newspapers have been primarily funded by local and national advertiser support. But as readership moves online, Canadian companies have shifted their ad dollars to global conglomerates like Facebook and Google – despite the fact that ads in print or online newspapers are the most trusted of all ad formats.

To make matters worse, 70 per cent of Canada’s online advertising revenue goes to Facebook and Google. This lost ad revenue has shrunk newsrooms, dwindled resources and put papers at risk.

And this ultimately means access to truthful news comes under threat. “Fake news” chatter seeks to discredit journalists trained to deal in facts. This has impacted newspapers’ ability to provide in-depth, credible, independent reporting, which is critically important – now more than ever.

New polls have shown that 63 per cent of Canadians can’t tell the difference between legitimate and fake news and that 65 per cent of Canadians are worried that false information is being used as a weapon.

We here at the Abbotsford News are asking for you to help us remind local businesses, advertisers and governments that newspaper journalism is critically important and essential in protecting the vibrant communities in which we live.

Oct. 1 to 7 is National Newspaper Week. Together, let’s take a stand showcasing our support to access truthful, local, regional and national news. Visit newspapersmatter.ca and pledge your support.

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