Few organizations can look back at their history for more than a handful of decades, which makes The Gleaner’s 160th anniversary even more notable. Too many communities have lost their local newspapers to the massive changes that have engulfed the industry in recent years, so it is fair to say that The Gleaner’s historical legacy, one which reflects the publication’s importance to the community, has been a paramount part of its continuity. And that’s cause to celebrate!
The Gleaner’s relaunch in June 2019 as a community-owned social enterprise is at the heart of the publication’s recent success. The community came together to provide the leadership, governance, staffing, and financial support that had been ebbing away under the previous ownership by media chains. Our francophone minority-language colleagues in the rest of Canada have a wonderful credo to guide the development of their community – par et pour – and being published by and for the community will always serve The Gleaner well.
While The Gleaner has had to deal with much turbulence over the last decade, more still lies ahead, albeit of a different sort. With the ownership of the publication now stabilized, the focus is on the digital future: how to transition over time from the tried-and-true print edition as its readership slowly declines. We can add artificial intelligence to the mix of various digital formats including social media, websites, mobile devices, and multimedia production. What works for Google isn’t necessarily what will work for a small-circulation, minority-language and rural publication such as The Gleaner, so that is what the publication will be working on in the near future to maintain its viability – anchored by the production of quality, local news, regardless of format.
We would like to extend one hundred and sixty “thank yous” to our subscribers, donors, advertisers, and partners. We look forward to celebrating many more times in the years to come.