A year after the sale of Brunswick News, local media more fragile than ever

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A year after the sale of Brunswick News, local media more fragile than ever

“Without local news, it is endangering democracy. It's as simple as that. »

Copies of the Telegraph-Journal and Times & Transcript. (File photo)

A year after the sale of Brunswick News newspapers to Postmedia, New Brunswick's three major English-language newspapers are printed only a few days a week, and jobs have been lost.

According to a media expert, all the changes feared in early 2022 when giant Irving sold Brunswick News Inc. (BNI) to conglomerate Postmedia did not happen exactly as feared.

We had thought that possibly there would be a merger of the three dailies , underlines Marie-Linda Lord, full professor of information-communication at the Université de Moncton, speaking of the Telegraph-Journal, the Times & Transcript and Daily Gleaner.

The three newspapers have kept their names, and their front pages generally refer to their region of origin, but it's still sort of a merger when you look at the content, says Ms. Lord.

We have not yet made a total merger, but we obviously share the same editorials, a lot of reports that are there, the chronicles are also the same. The journal has thinned, too. Much fewer pages than before, she notes.

In fact, what is happening is that the edits are cut in half. So instead of having six editions a week, we have three. Both paper and digital, she mentioned in an interview on Friday.

Marie-Linda Lord, full professor of information-communication at the Université de Moncton.

On days when these publications are not in print, subscribers receive an email with the news. It shows that there is a lack of technological and digital expertise within the former Brunswick News to operate this way, believes Marie-Linda Lord.

She believes that there will be cause for concern for the future of local information, as long as we do not invest in quality information.

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“That's what we have to worry about, because without local news, it's endangering democracy . It's as simple as that. »

— Marie-Linda Lord, Professor of Information-Communication

Local, regional and provincial news are very important for people to stay informed, to be able to participate in this democracy that we value here in Canada, says Marie-Linda Lord.

The ways of obtaining information and the habits of the public have changed, but their thirst for quality remains, she says.

The new generation […] is a little less interested in traditional media than the students of 30 years ago, it is a reality, observes the professor. They may get information differently, but the fact remains that quality journalism is still and always in the traditional media, including the written press.

Investments are necessary , and the era of free is over, believes veteran journalist Don MacPherson. After twenty years at the Daily Gleaner, he accepted the severance package offered to him by his employer, even though he had not reached retirement age.

The people need to understand that producing news costs money, continues Don MacPherson. For a long time, people were made to believe that news was free. You turn on the radio or TV, there was news. For too long, newspapers have put their free content on the web and relied on print subscriptions and advertising to pay their bills. It has changed.

The public must realize that no news is free. And when it's free, maybe it's not the most professional, and doesn't have the weight to be trusted, he said in an interview. .

For quality journalism, you have to give yourself the means, sums up Marie-Linda Lord. It costs money.

“What is likely to happen is when the local news disappears, it's a whole political, economic, social, cultural fabric that disappears. This is dangerous for our democracy.

— Marie-Linda Lord, Professor of Information-Communication

L'Acadie Nouvelle — the only independent daily newspaper in New Brunswick — is printed and distributed by Brunswick News since 2012. No reduction in print frequency of print editions is anticipated.

We have an agreement for five days a week — printing and delivery — with Postmedia. We will simply ensure that our agreement is respected as we concluded it last fall, said Francis Sonier, editor-manager of Acadie Nouvelle in an interview with Radio- Canada last month.

Last week, he reiterated that the newspaper's goal is to continue to inform Francophones with the help of; a digital edition and a paper edition still printed five days a week.

Professor Marie-Linda Lord notes that Acadie Nouvelle wants to respect the desire of a certain public who wants to have the paper and argues that this medium makes great sacrifices to achieve this.

There is a certain attachment in Acadie for our language newspaper French. And that helps. Attachment is an element that helps keep the print media local, she says.

According to the report by Sarah Déry< /em>

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