Another newspaper casualty – The Guelph Mercury


Sir: I heard recently that a long-time community newspaper, The Guelph Mercury closed after many years of service, throwing dozens of employees out of work. This seems to be a trend that seems to have no end.

The loss of newspapers that are not online seems to be happening more and more as people switch from the paper version to the Internet services that one can find with the simple click of a mouse and the use of servers on the World Wide Web of computer sights.

I think this is a shame to see these newspapers disappear, though I suppose environmentalists and the so called tree huggers probably welcome the saving of trees from the newspaper press rooms!

Newspaper companies can probably operate with fewer paid staff to run the on line services, but there are other casualties not often considered. People who do not have computers, let alone be computer literate suffer from the loss of newspapers. From the advertisers to the newspaper carriers that deliver the newspapers, there is a ripple effect on all who have involvement in the production and delivery of newspapers.

For myself, I find that getting a newspaper is a welcome reading device that does not force one to strain one’s eyes and stare constantly into a screen that may lead to vision problems for many who depend on the Internet for their work, their news, and even social gossip.

One can also clip out articles one wants to use for future use, anything, from recopies, weddings, birthdays to obituaries. Other items such as community events will not be as easily provided. These activities and events in personal lives of people may not be as easily provided via the computer.

We have been fortunate in Chatham-Kent, to have community newspapers that still report the local news, and not just the regional or international news that is covered mainly in big city newspapers or online news services.

Maybe some may think I’m old fashioned for my love of the old-style newspapers. I suppose some day the newspaper as it has long been known may go the way of the rotary-dial phone or news written on tablets of stone!

Until that day happens, though, I would hope that many people will continue to support our local newspapers so that they will still be here in some format, for generations to come, for those who prefer getting their information in this manner.

Frank Doyle



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