Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, a city of approximately 85,000 no longer has a daily newspaper.
A recent timeline of newspapering in Kamloops:
Monday: Radio news that Kamloops Daily News, Kamloops’s daily newspaper will cease publishing sometime in the next 60 days after 80 years of publication.
Tuesday: front page news in Kamloops Daily News and Kamloops This Week stating the same. KTW states that it will start publishing three days per week (up from two).
Friday: Kamloops Daily News, front page, not lead: Saturday will mark the final issue.
Saturday: Kamloops Daily News‘s final issue. Sold out at retail so I (a regular purchaser) could not buy a copy. (Would that it had been like that more often before.)
Yes, people can get news from the Internet, but having people who are journalists helps on news reliability. Also important, there are the other things done by newspapers that help build a community and hold it together. Among other things, a local newspaper can help facilitate debate on local issues, help get city hall to deal with an issue, help hold a politician’s feet to the fire, or fundraise. On the Web, local issues can be diluted badly.
I have noticed a similar effect during my computer diploma and degree. In 2002, the lab was busy and it was easy to find someone else if one needed help. In 2010 and for a few years prior, the lab was practically empty. There was a definite loss of community.
The Internet has a certain amount to answer for.