Newspapers Matter, Now More Than Ever: A Call to Action

During this time of uncertainty, Canadians depend on sources of information they can trust. From coast to coast to coast, Canadians have been turning to newspapers to keep them up-to-date on breaking news and advice on how to stay healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even in these challenging times, news organizations – and their reporters, are working overtime spurred by the spirit of public service.

Whether in print or online, research has repeatedly shown than newspaper content is read by nine out of 10 Canadians each week. In the short time since this public health crisis began, our members have noticed a spike in readership, as Canadians’ demand for accurate, reliable information has increased.

But now more than ever, newspapers need help to be able to continue to provide important coverage of COVID-19 to Canadian families, seniors, and other vulnerable populations in communities across the country.

As the economy grinds to a halt, advertising is quickly drying up. News Media Canada has been continually in touch with officials at all levels of government to convey a simple message: the best short-term support governments can provide to newspapers in these difficult times is advertising.

We are encouraged to hear that the federal government has announced a plan to launch an educational advertising campaign that will support trusted Canadian sources of information, which is a position for which we have long been lobbying.

At the same time, however, we recognize that this is just the first step in a much longer process. That’s why we are asking you, our members, to contact your federal and provincial elected representatives, local government officials, health authorities, and other agencies as soon as possible.

We’d like if you could tell them about the impact this crisis is having on your business, and how, without long-term help, financial constraints will have an impact on your ability to keep your community informed.

News Media Canada member publications currently employ about 60 per cent of journalists in the country. In many areas, the community newspaper is the only source of local news and information. Now more than ever, newspapers matter. We hope you will share this message in order to compel those in power to support your essential service to the public.

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