Your local paper carries on

Slave Lake residents will notice no more Lakeside Leaders appearing in their mailboxes, this week. The past five years or so the town was paying to have the papers delivered like that, as way of ensuring town news and notices got widely distributed. M.D. residents continue to get their weekly Leader, under a similar arrangement.

As of Feb. 1, the town is trying other methods of communicating with residents, as you may have heard. You may also have heard that municipalities have only recently been free to choose alternatives to the local paper to share news of bylaw changes and such. For many decades it was the law, handed down by the provincial government, that such notices had to be in the newspaper. But the new Municipal Government Act chucked that out, requiring instead that whatever the method of notification, it just had to reach ‘substantially all’ of residents.

So is this a setback for your local newspaper? That likely remains to be seen. The past week or two lots of people have been coming in and paying for subscriptions. That is encouraging and we’ll take it as it comes. Likely our circulation will not get back to where it was when the town was paying for 1,500 or so copies to be mailed out each week.

As always, the key factor in this is advertising. As long as it continues, we’ll be fine and you’ll have the Lakeside Leader as an option for local news and views.

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