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Extra, extra, read all about it: new English newspaper launches in Vaudreuil-Soulanges area
MONTREAL -- While COVID-19 has been a death knell for several North American newspapers, a new English-language publication has popped up to serve the Vaudreuil-Soulanges community.
The 1019 Report, named for the number of square kilometres covering Saint-Lazare, Hudson, Vaudreuil and Rigaud, is the brainchild of veteran journalist Brenda O'Farrell, who serves as the newspaper's editor-in-chief. This past week, she was out delivering copies of the first edition and she said the reception has been warm.
“The whole day, people have been stopping me on the street saying 'It's about time, I'd like one of those,'” she said.
Unlike most other newspapers, the 1019 Report can only be found in print, with no online edition. O'Farrell said it's her belief that only large, national papers have a future in the digital realm.
“The more regional newspapers, the papers I grew up with that did everything, the Montreal Gazette and Toronto Star, the big dailies, the floor is falling out from under them,” she said.
To maintain an audience, O'Farrell said her newspaper will keep articles hyper-local. Articles in the first edition include a story about drive-in movies making a comeback in the area and a story about a Saint-Lazare nurse diagnosed with COVID-19.
Many of the people involved with the 1019 Report are volunteers or retirees. The paper's revenue model contains traditional advertising, including encouraging municipalities to publish official notices within their pages. It also intends to add other revenue streams, which O’Farrell says will be introduced in the coming weeks.
For now, the paper will print every other week, though the goal is to move to weekly eventually.
“It's about the people and places that matter,” said O'Farrell. “It's not going to be about the White House and this, that and the outside world. It's the one thing you don't get right now, it's what's happening here.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported, and a quote in it incorrectly suggested, that there are no other newspapers serving the communities in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges area. In fact, The Journal - formerly called Your Local Journal - has been publishing in the area for 16 years. It had paused its print edition during the COVID-19 pandemic, but has resumed printing a newspaper and has continued publishing online.