Just in case you haven’t heard, and I doubt that’s possible at this point, the Thorold Edition of the Niagara News is soon to be no more. That’s because they were swapped for the apparent purpose of closing them. Why the two companies, Torstar (which now owns the Thorold Edition) and Postmedia, couldn’t close their own newspapers is a question best not asked probably, but that now means that the only “local” newspaper will be Niagara This Week, which not every part of Thorold gets.
The Thorold Edition has been of much more use for items of Thorold interest recently, since they started buying some stories from Cathy Pelletier, who knows what a local weekly paper should be to its readers. Before that, you were lucky to find any stories of Thorold interest in it, sometimes for weeks at a time. With all due respect to surrounding communities, who really cares what some farmer in Welland or Fort Erie is doing? It was just cheaper for them to buy one story and print it in as many issues as possible. If you looked at the front page of their on-line version at the time of writing this (Nov. 29, 2018, at 6:10 p.m.), you’d find 6 stories about the Falls, 2 about Pelham, one about Welland, one about the Niagara Regional Police, one about Regional Council, and one about the Humane Society. Thorold: zero.
But then, they haven’t been community oriented from the get-go. Ever since the conglomerates started buying up all the local newspapers or just moving in to their advertising territories, local weeklies have been turned into pure junk advertising rags. Gone are the local information people want to read in such papers, which tends to range from little scores and pictures to the latest issues at the town hall, however uninteresting to an outsider. It used to be a vehicle for local projects and accomplishments and individual, family or neighbourhood milestones.
Some of that was starting to return with Ms Pelletier’s writing, but she is only one reporter, which isn’t really enough for a paper full of news. That’s okay, though. Both papers have plenty of flyers to stuff into into the center, usually much thicker than the paper itself which, quite frankly, we dump into the blue box without a glance. And, in case the inserts aren’t enough ads for you, there are so many in the paper itself that sometimes you have to search for the stories among them.
If it doesn’t sound like I’ll true miss it if both disappeared, I have to admit that it’s more a matter of nostalgia, especially for name of the paper I used to write for at one time, than any real utility. It’ll certainly mean I won’t have to put my recycling as often. And less paper to pick up off my lawn every time the wind blows on garbage day.
Would that we could have a real community newspaper in Thorold once more like the former Thorold News, even if it’s an on-line paper.