Three of the newspapers Black Press has closed: The Nainamo Daily News, The Alberni Valley Times and the Campbell River Courier-Islander. Image by J-Source.

This story was funded by the J-Source Patreon campaign.

By Megan Devlin

Eric Plummer, editor of the Alberni Valley Times, remembers the day last September when two representatives from Black Press told him his paper was closing.

“They came in, I think it was like 4:00 or 4:30,” he said. “I don’t think that we’d even finished the paper yet, actually.”

The daily paper, which served the 25,000 people of Alberni Valley on Vancouver Island from 1967 to 2015, was one of 11 British Columbia community newspapers that Black Press bought from Glacier Media in 2014.

“I won’t contend that the paper wasn’t losing money,” Plummer said. “I think at that point I was just so hellbent on keeping the paper going that I refused to believe that we were going to be dying just yet.”

On Oct. 9, 2015, Plummer published the paper’s last edition.

Three months later, the Nanaimo Daily News—also part of Black Press’s package of papers bought from Glacier—was closed as well.

The buying and subsequent closing of newspapers is a story that repeats over and over again in small BC communities. Since 2010, Black Press has eliminated 10 papers and Glacier Media has shuttered seven. Several others have had their publication schedules reduced.

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