Andrea Rondeau: It’s National Newspaper Week — here’s why newspapers matter

Cowichan Valley Citizen

Imagine the community without the Cowichan Valley Citizen.

It’s a big week in the news industry — National Newspaper Week.

More people have probably heard of Talk Like a Pirate Day (because it’s hilarious), but I would venture to say that National Newspaper Week is significantly more important.We work really hard here at your community newspaper to bring you the best possible information that you need to make decisions about your lives, and, of course, to entertain you a little.

News Media Canada has launched a campaign to rally support for newspaper journalism, dubbed #NowMoreThanEver. People can show their support for the industry at newspapersmatter.ca.

At first glance you may shrug that name off — newspapers matter. But imagine the community without the Cowichan Valley Citizen. Where would you find out about the big new development proposed at council? Where would you find out about your municipal election candidates? Where would you hear about the upcoming season at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre? Would you even know what local dairy farmers think about the new NAFTA?

We’ve got some supporters: “Journalism plays an essential role in democracy, and more than ever we need to recognize and value and importance of that role,” said Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau. “I am grateful that the Cowichan Valley Citizen provides information and insight on the issues that matter to the people of the Cowichan Valley, and I applaud the relentless efforts of the reporters and editors to keep all of us informed.”

And this from our representative in Ottawa: “The Cowichan Valley is a special place in the heart of Vancouver Island,” said Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor. “As islanders, we share a unique identity that sets us apart from the mainland. Our issues are different, and they don’t get covered in the same way by national media — you have to live here to understand. That’s why local publications, covering local issues and people’s stories, is so vital to our communities and the information we receive. On this National Newspaper Week, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to local newspapers like the Cowichan Valley Citizen, for their excellent journalism and for covering the topics important to us. Happy National Newspaper Week!”

To those who think newspapers are dying, consider this: recent research shows that eight in 10 Canadians, and 85 per cent of millennials, still read a newspaper every week. And ads in digital or print newspapers are the most trusted of all ad formats.

The local newspaper is valuable to the community. We hope you’ll continue to support us.