We need your help as a community.
As some of you may know, in recent months local newspapers like ours have lost access to posting to Facebook as a way to enhance our ability to reach our readers and inform the community due to the federal government’s Bill C-18.
While the intent of the bill was intended to help Canadian media companies get on a more even footing with social media news providers like Facebook and Google, who have been posting Canadian news content from our sites for years without compensating us for the clicks they receive, there has been significant push back from these social media corporations over Bill C-18. They now threaten to cut off access to our news outlets through their search engines.
We have already seen how it has impacted us through Facebook, with local residents completely blocked from seeing our posts even if they intentionally seek out our pages. This cutting off of Facebook access has certainly hurt smaller community newspapers like ours the most, who relied on that forum to engage with our community and share our stories with a wider audience. A potential Google ban would hurt all Canadian media outlets. Google has imposed a deadline of Dec. 19 before it enacts this ban.
While we are hopeful a deal can be reached between Google, the federal government and the media conglomerates who are negotiating as we speak, we also have to prepare for the worst case scenario. We will need our community to continue to follow us and support us regardless of what happens on Dec. 19.
There are some things you can do to help. Bookmark our website and come directly to the site instead of counting on Facebook or Google to lead you there. Subscribe to the weekly e-edition. And look for the free print edition available at our office, through drop boxes or by home delivery.
If you value local news, please take action to support us today– or there may not be a tomorrow.