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  • Writer's pictureOLIP Interns

Sponsor Spotlight - Ontario Community Newspaper Association and Metroland

We had the great pleasure of meeting with our sponsors at the Ontario Community Newspaper Association (OCNA), the industry association representing about 240 community newspapers in Ontario. We were joined by Charlene Bickerstaffe, Pam Portt, and Caroline Medwell of OCNA and Zeelaf Majeed and Braden Simmonds of Metroland Media. Metroland Media is the community arm of TorStar, responsible for several regional dailies and 70 community newspapers. In Toronto, they provide content for and community newspapers like the Scarborough Mirror, the North York Mirror and Etobicoke Guardian.

Ms Majeed described to us the role of her team, who are responsible for covering the local news stories in Toronto. They cover stories related to the TDSB, local council meetings, and Toronto Public Health with an emphasis on local matters. The team received an award for the COVID-19 coverage, a topic they have been dedicated to covering for the past 15 months. We also discussed the discrepancy between how different communities consume news. While some geographic areas are much more online-focused, others still heavily rely on print. The changes to the newspaper industry have been significant in recent decades. These changes have required Metroland Media to be innovative and creative with their service. By using data, they ensure that they are making the right decisions for their various audiences.

We have had many excellent opportunities to meet with journalists and those who’ve made their careers reporting on Queens Park throughout the year. And we were reminded during our discussion of the importance of local news coverage and the impact that news deserts can have on politics and democracy. We are very thankful for our wonderful sponsors at OCNA and for the opportunity to meet with them and Metroland Media!

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