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Partner Profile: Ontario Community Newspaper Association

Updated: Jun 13, 2022

We had the distinct privilege of meeting one of our loyal partners, the Ontario Community Newspaper Association (OCNA)! The OCNA is comprised of more than 200 member newspapers located throughout the province, aiming to support and celebrate community publications in Ontario.

During the meeting, we spoke about the instrumental role of community newspapers in promoting community-led news and stories, and the ways that the industry has grown and changed over the past few years. We were surprised to learn that OCNA's members circulate over 3.5 million newspapers weekly, and about 32% of adults in Ontario only read community newspapers for their main source of news. With aspiring journalists in our cohort, this made us think more about the value of community journalism, and the readership it serves outside urban hubs in rural and suburban communities in Ontario.

I was also interested to hear more about different sources of funding for community newspapers; ranging from monthly subscriptions, sponsorships, membership fees, and federal governmental assistance to support the industry’s sustainability and success. Members of the OCNA team also highlighted digital subscriptions as being a notable shift in industry funding.

We were grateful to hear from journalist Joanna Lavoie, an award-winning, bilingual journalist with more than a decade of diverse experience. She spoke about her journalistic experiences writing for different community newspapers, and the stories she has covered that have brought community voices to the centre; covering topics such as public safety, labour, and community health, amongst many others.

Thank you to the Ontario Community Newspaper Association for sharing your thoughts with us and for your support of our program. We left the conversation with even greater admiration for the industry and its journalists!

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