Now More Than Ever

Newspaper week continues in Canada

I am very concerned. You should be, too.

Recently, I read some statistics on how Canadians are navigating their way through the whole “Fake News” issue. Apparently, 69% of us cannot tell the difference between which news is real and which isn’t. I am alarmed. We all need to be.

Today, it seems that the real news is being drowned out by an avalanche of so-called “fake” news that is nothing more than opinion pieces and marketing strategies to get us to buy a product, vote a certain way or achieve some other nefarious motive.

When I read my newspaper, either online or in print, I can at least trust the journalism. I certainly don’t like all that I see, but at least I have some recourse if I feel strongly about something that has been written. In essence, I know where they live. Their shingle is above the door. They have a mailing address and a phone number.

Now I am concerned about the “real” part of the news. Much of it originates from newspapers, and whether we all love, or hate, the news that is being reported, I am scared that it may go away, leaving us with only opinions and marketing sales tactics. I, for one, will not stand for this. You should not, either.

We need to voice our concern about maintaining access to the news that is important to us. I need my elected officials to continue to be held accountable for the decisions they make with the tax money we provide. I want them to know that my “real” news is important to me; locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. The journalism that newspapers provide is vital to the health of my community. I just do not see anyone else doing the job they do.

Advertisers, governments and decision-makers need to know that people like you and I care about the health of Canadian journalism. I am going to www.newspapersmatter.ca to pledge my support. You should, too.

Column by:

Steve Nixon, Executive Director

Saskatchewan Weekly Newspapers Association

www.swna.com

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