Volume 2, Issue 3 is here!



Editorial: A Love Letter Amidst The Layoffs

By Kelly Linehan

When my family and I moved to Lunenburg last year, we were over the moon about the Lunenburg Barnacle. We raced to No. 9 to pick it up every month. We tried (and failed) most of the crosswords and we loved the surprising number of investigative pieces. The sheer calibre of coverage is something we didn’t expect. No paywall. No payment at all actually.

Things like this paper were the reasons we picked a small town as our home. We were ready for community. We were also recovering media-types. My husband, a former news cameraman from Toronto and me, a former reporter and anchor from a few different markets. 

You may not realize it, but this little paper is nothing short of a miracle in an industry that is being slashed apart by ceaseless layoffs. 

The day before this issue went to print and this editorial was set to appear online, the news broke that SaltWire Network, a company that owns the Chronicle Herald and many other papers, filed for creditor protection. Its debt? $94 million. The loss of 23 newspapers, and the livelihood of many, seems inevitable. 

Bell Media has laid off 6,000 people in the last nine months. Programming is bare bones now too. Bell Media is selling about half of its radio stations as well as ending noon and weekend newscasts. CTV News at 5 has been whittled down to 30 minutes, prompting a petition online. But the cuts don’t stop there. 

Vice Media has filed for bankruptcy, laid off hundreds of people and shut down its website. CBC has laid off 600 people but if Pierre Poilievre is elected, the broadcaster is on the chopping block. The Conservative leader, polling much above Trudeau, has wistfully shared his dream of turning CBC buildings into housing. To his credit (sarcasm here) Trudeau fought for the Online News Act which now means Meta blocks access to news in Canada. We are increasingly not searching out mainstream news and now it can’t even find us on Facebook or Instagram. 

Where does that leave us? In a terrifying place where Youtubers’ conspiracy theories and fake AI-generated clips get more play and more trust than trained media. We are witnessing the “democratization of news”: something my journalism profs warned us about in school. Even 15 years ago, they couldn’t believe the size of our class. Why would anyone be getting into this industry? I can’t even imagine what they are saying to students now. 

It seems tired to tell you that nothing less than our democracy is on the line. But it’s true. Poilievre hasn’t sat down with a credible journalist for a wide-ranging interview like every PM-wannabe before him. He doesn’t have to. A lot of us haven’t even noticed. 

This brings us back to my undying love for the Lunenburg Barnacle. Her staff all work for FREE while balancing full-time jobs. They do this because they recognize someone needs to hold truth to power AND they love where we live. If you can, sign up for a small monthly donation on Zeffy, subscribe to the newsletter and like and share their content online. It all adds up.  

What a sustainable model of journalism looks like is still very much up for debate, but my hunch is we will find it in small, local efforts like this one.

Vol. 2, Issue 3 Stories

News

Community

Games

Check out this month’s print issue, online

Did someone already snag the last issue at the Laughing Whale? For those who can’t enjoy the print experience, read this complimentary PDF from anywhere in the world.

Find us in print

We distribute to the following locations over the morning of March 14. You can find us in print while supplies last.

  • Bridgewater
    • Fancy Pants Cafe
    • Fancy Pants Express
    • The Barn in Bridgewater
  • Chester
    • Kiwi Cafe
  • LaHave
    • LaHave Bakery
    • Petite General Store
  • Lunenburg
    • Block Shop Books
    • Elizabeth’s Books
    • Laughing Whale Cafe
    • Lunenburg Bound Books
    • Lunenburg Farmers Market
    • Lunenburg Library
    • No. 9 Coffee
  • Mahone Bay
    • Blockhouse Farmer’s Market
    • Chicory Blue
    • Famous Town Pie Shop
    • The Barn
  • Rose Bay
    • Rose Bay General Store
  • Schnares Crossing
    • Hungry Traveler Cafe

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