Tim Shoults, the publisher of the St. Albert Gazette and Town and Country Today and Vice President of Great West Media, recently shared some thoughtful reflections on the challenges facing local news outlets that were described in a report from The Canadian Press.
For Shoults, the piece hit close to home — he spent five years as the operations manager of Kamloops This Week, which closed in October after 35 years in operation.
His central thesis that the relationship between creating news and distributing it – the core of the advertising model – has changed fundamentally is extremely prescient.
“We conditioned you, the reader, to believe that news is something that someone else pays for long before any of us ever went online – and for decades, that worked, because we made our money from how we distributed the news, not by creating it,” he writes.
The answer to this problem, he writes is that many local news producers need to find a new model that encourages reader support but that those who can’t afford to pay can still receive the news they need. Click here to read more.