A group of former Sun Media employees have started a new independent weekly in Hinton, Alberta, called the Hinton Voice.
This is positive news for the hard-hit weekly newspaper industry, where local newspapers owned by large chains have suffered.
Sun Media recently cut back at the Pincher Creek Echo and the
Crowsnest Pass Promoter. There are rumours flying around that smaller Ontario papers in the chain may suffer more reductions only months after a major series of layoffs occurred in the winter and spring.
The Hinton Voice is a great example of what needs to take place. Hyper-local publications serving very specific geographic areas or communities of interest are the solution the big corporations are missing. While these chains promote more centralized production away from the communities they serve and more common content across the board, local audiences are turning away in disgust.
The Voice is responding with a commitment to local coverage and content that is focused on the community it serves. It is worthy of watching.