Publisher January 29

One of the first things that I learned as a newspaper carrier was that many of my customers looked to the Times and Bulletin not only for news, but to read the specials in grocery stores, whether it was Fillmore’s, Einars, the Independent Store Group, Safeway, Shop Easy or the West End Market operated by the Wright family. From the various ads that were found in the paper, people would make their grocery shopping lists. And if I had missed a house, the phone would ring at home and my parents would send me back out immediately to deliver a paper to that missed customer. It could be -40 on a January night, but the paper was delivered with a knock on the door and an apology.
They would look to the paper to see what specials Roste’s bakery was having or what specials the Fort Frances Bakery had, to make decisions on buying bread. People in the country would look to the paper to see what specials the Loney family were promoting from the Cloverleaf Store then located on Front Street, or to The Fairway store on the highway. The grocery stores were in the paper every week.
Today, you won’t find those grocery ads on a regular basis printed in the paper. But you will still see grocery ads every week as each grocery store today publishes its own paper promoting sales in their stores. Publishing on paper and relying on newspapers to deliver that information to householders has never been more important to grocery store retailers. The newspaper philosophy was and is “If we can help make local independently owned businesses successful, the newspaper will be successful'”
It used to be that the provincial government would promote flu shots in the local newspaper. They would promote forest fire safety in local Northern Ontario papers. Program information for pre-schoolers and seniors was delivered in the trusted medium. . . the local newspaper.
Advertising has and always will be the living blood that makes newspapering possible.
Newspapers continue to be the trusted medium for news. Newspapers continue to record the histories of communities and councils. The Fort Frances Times and Daily Bulletin record the day to day happenings of the citizens of the district. Newspapers across Canada do hold our provincial and federal politicians accountable. Those with greater resources do far more investigative work uncovering corruptions and misdeeds of large businesses.
Locally, our politicians like to see their pictures in the paper as they hand out gifts for projects in every community. Teachers and parents look forward to seeing their children photographed in coordinated activities. Striking teachers look to see that the paper has recorded their walk on the picket line in even the most frigid conditions.
All those things are delivered by your local newspaper. New programs to promote the health and well-being of seniors find their way to the paper, just as teas and bake sales do.
We can’t forget about the more than 100 years Rainy River District history which has been recorded. And the competitive sports and recreation and art programs which are still being written about and photographed.
Newspapers face a troubling future. Independent retail and service business traditionally supported independent newspapers across Canada. However, as newspapers disappeared in small towns across Ontario and Canada, provincial and federal governments moved their promotion budgets from small towns to large companies such as Amazon, and Facebook, to deliver their messages.