It has been 30 years since the advent of the World Wide Web and 15 years since the launch of Facebook, and newspapers across North America are in the midst of a reckoning.
A revolving door of social media platforms in recent years has forever altered the way we communicate, allowing the spread of information, misinformation and so-called "fake news" at unprecedented rates, at the same time many community papers are struggling to stay afloat.
This isn't the first time newspapers and the journalists who toil to fill them have faced challenges. As technology progressed, the newspaper industry adapted first to radio and then to television. But the real casualty in the age of the Internet is trust.
A poll released in May by the Canadian Journalism Foundation found many Canadians struggle to distinguish fact-based news stories from fiction. Foundation president Natalie Turvey said: "To be engaged in our democracy, citizens need to have access to quality information."
Now, more than ever, we are proud to serve the community of St. Albert. For more than 58 years, St. Albertans have trusted and supported this newspaper. Our readers know they can rely on the Gazette to give them the information they need to make important decisions about their lives, their communities and their governments.
The Gazette is taking the opportunity during National Newspaper Week, from Oct. 6 to 12, to join the celebration of credible journalism across our country.
For nearly six decades, the Gazette has reported on the issues that matter to St. Albertans, chronicled the lives of residents and partnered with many non-profit organizations to help them achieve their goals.
Nowhere else will you find stories like "To catch a leak," the award-winning reporting from Kevin Ma who wanted to show readers that the province's leaky natural gas infrastructure was a problem happening in our very own backyards; or Jennifer Henderson's profile of LGBTQ+ youth activist Canon Cunningham, who is reaching out to kids who are struggling with their identity. And only in the pages of the Gazette can you find the in-depth city council coverage of Hannah Lawson, the comprehensive sports coverage of Jeff Hansen and the compassionate, uplifting – and sometimes humourous – words of Scott Hayes.
And how else would you have learned about a St. Albert mother and daughter who can be found every Tuesday evening setting up tables of books at the Hope Mission that are free to anyone wanting something to read if Anna Borowiecki hadn't written a feature story about them?
We champion your causes, cheer you on, celebrate your successes and grieve your losses with you. It's a labour of love for us, and our team of journalists, photographers and everyone behind the scenes is proud of the work we do.Newspapers and local news matter because your stories matter. This week, join us in standing up for the importance of reliable journalism.