Written By: Monday, November 27th 2017

Local news has taken another hit, as Tor Star and Post Media have swapped more than 40 newspapers across Ontario — and promptly announced plans to close many of them.

Among the casualties are Simcoe County’s two major dailies. Both The Barrie Examiner and Orillia Packet and Times have been closed.
Also gone are The Bradford Times, Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin and the Innisfil Examiner.
The Meaford Express is also closing.

Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke is shocked by the closure of his city’s daily, which has been covering Orillia’s news since 1870.

“Anytime you lose such a huge part of our community it’s tough, but even more so when you consider the lives of the employees who lost their jobs in the manner they did. And the families that will be affected.”

Susan Krashinsky-Robertson is the media and marketing reporter at the Globe and Mail. She says the writing was on the wall in September when the federal government made it clear there would be no government support for struggling print outlets. And while these closures don’t come as a surprise to her, Krashinsky-Robertson says local democracy takes a hit when local news outlets are replaced by giants like Google and Facebook.

“When you talk about coverage of city hall, coverage of local politics, people holding local politicians to account, holding local governments to account, local agencies, all of the people who need scrutiny because that’s how we uphold a functioning society, that’s not being done by Google and Facebook.”

Close to 300 people will lose their jobs when the various community and daily papers cease operations.
Some will close immediately, others will wind down early in the New Year.