The Current

Former newspaper editor bemoans death by a thousand cuts for Canada's dailies

Things were looking up for Postmedia last March with its regulatory green light for the acquisition of Sun Media. But less than a year later, the layoffs began. The former editor of the Edmonton Journal Margo Goodhand joins us to talk about the erosion of newspapers.
Former Edmonton Journal editor Margo Goodhand says Postmedia's future looks bleak. (Margo Goodhand/Twitter)

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There is no denying the newspaper industry is in the throes of an existential crisis brought on by dwindling ad sales and the rise of free online news.

Many papers are ceasing publication that in some places, finding enough newsprint to catch your paint drippings or wrap your fish could be a tall order. 

A local newsroom has to be has to support the community, it has to reflect the community, it has to inspire the community.- Margo Goodhand, former editor-in-chief at The Edmonton Journal

In Canada, Postmedia is in particular trouble. It publishes more than 200 papers, magazines and websites — from the Vancouver Sun to the Montreal Gazette and, of course, the National Post. Its dailies reach about 6.3 million readers every week.

But the company is debt-ridden, and continues to lay people off to cut costs. Last month it announced the merger of competing newsrooms in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa. Some 90 people lost their jobs.

One of them was Margo Goodhand, who was the editor-in-chief of the Edmonton Journal. She joined Anna Maria to discuss how the days of local newsrooms are numbered.

This segment was produced by The Current's Idella Sturino.