Guelph Daily Newspaper Closes After 149 Years

Jan 29, 2016 | News

Guelph Mercury has officially stopped printing after 149 years. (Photo by Creative Commons: Jon S)

Guelph Mercury has officially stopped printing after 149 years. (Photo by Creative Commons: Jon S)

By: Krysten McCumber

The Guelph Mercury newspaper, one of Ontario’s longest running papers, is closing Friday due to a lack of advertising and funding.

After 149 years Guelph’s local daily newspaper has shut down, with 26 employees losing their jobs.

“This is indeed a sad day. The decision was not made lightly, but the decline of classified and national advertising in recent years has made it impossible for the printed copy of the daily newspaper to remain profitable,” a press release from Donna Luelo, publisher of the Guelph Mercury, said.

Following news of the Toronto Star shutting down its printing plant this year, the Mercury carries on the discussion of newspapers and media fading into the digital era.

“We’re all being flooded with more info than we’re used to. People are flooded with information because the digital culture gives it to us all the time, and gives it to us all the time for free,” Jeffrey Dvorkin, journalism lecturer at University of Toronto said.

With over 300 community newspapers currently running in Ontario but sporadically closing, one aspect comes to light: the media industry has been contracting as whole. It’s a challenge for local media outlets of all kinds to try and find a stable way to stay afloat financially, Dvorkin said.

“If they do what they do best and try to determine what that is then they might be able to find a message that people are willing to pay to support them,” Dvorkin said.

News outlets across the world can feel the struggle of being shut down and silenced, but Dvorkin only has one true piece of advice for the outlets looking to survive.

“They have to figure out a way of giving people the so-called ‘news they can use’ but also giving them the news they need, and that’s the challenge.”

Serving fewer than nine-thousand homes in the Guelph community, all news will now be covered by the Guelph Tribune, publishing twice a week and reaching more than 40,000 homes.