Cleaning house

I hate to admit it wasn’t that much of a shock to me that after more than 80 years reporting community news, sports, obits, and ads the Kamloops Daily News (KDN) announced that it was no longer publishing a daily newspaper. Online competition, increased costs, decreased advertising revenue and market trends are just a few of the tag words used in the newspaper business to explain the newspaper cannibalism that happens daily in this business realm.

In today’s world, newspapers and magazines are bought, sold, traded, locked and shuttered by the large publishing groups just like hockey cards were once traded by the kids on your block. It simply comes down to economics. If a newspaper makes money it’s usually safe from the corporate axe, but if it struggles as the KDN did lately, then off with its head.

The simple fact is that there are a half dozen or so large publishing groups that own a vast majority of the newspapers in Canada, and the closure of the KDN is nothing more than a large media group doing some proverbial house cleaning. These big players buy, sell and trade publications amongst each other all the time, and the more publications they own, the bigger their stack of trading cards.

Most newspaper readers would have no idea who owns the paper they read each day, or for that matter how many newspapers that publisher owns, has bought, sold, traded or closed.

I’ve heard people say that with the huge surge to online media and news, readers are shying away from newspapers and magazines — hence the KDN closure. But that’s parallel to those who said the radio would die a quick, painful death with the invention of the television so long ago. Last time I checked, every new car in North America still had some form of radio installed in it, so not sure about that one?

Yes, online news and other mobile media sources have started to chew away at publishers’ print ad revenue but the fact of the matter is people still like to read the news, and they seemingly like to touch what they read. During the same month that the KDN was ceasing operations, Sun Peaks News had to print more copies of our latest issue of SPIN Newsmagazine because we actually ran out of newspapers. This was a first in our 11 years of publishing, and proves that people still truly enjoy newsprint and a bit of ink while getting their dose of news and information.

Sadly, it’s the loss of the jobs, income and livelihoods at the now defunct KDN that will really affect the region because, as sure as the dawn will come tomorrow so will the news, and you can say you read it here first.