NORWICH, ON – As part of their mid-morning ritual, retirees Gladys and Albert Heatherington turn to their newspaper obituary section to see if any small town newspapers have passed on.
“Oh, no, not the Camrose Canadian,” said Gladys reading the first obituary to her 84-year-old husband who has poor eyesight. “It was only 110-years-old.”
“Small-town journalism is a dying generation,” said Albert in somber reflection. “One day, they’re uncovering corruption of a local mayor or reporting on a Canada Day parade, the next their coughing up regurgitated opinions from some prick-columnist in Toronto and then dropping dead.”
Gladys guided her finger down the page to the next death announcement, The Ingersoll Times, which is survived by its editor and a few journalists.
“They’re all catching this Postmedia bug,” Gladys said sipping some tea, her fingertips stained with newsprint ink.
“What?” asked Albert not hearing his wife adjusting his hearing aid.
“I said they’re all catching this Postmedia disease!” shouted Gladys to her husband of 53 years. “It’s killing all of them!”
“Maybe they would have lasted longer if their no good corporate owners visited them once-and-a-while,” suggested Albert, “but no, they just thought they were a tired old burden, not wanting to pay for them to innovate. Then they’ll blame the government and ask for taxpayer money to bail them out.
So much for the free market,” shrugged the grandfather of nine.
Tired of hearing about the the gloom, Gladys stopped short of reading all of the death announcements and tossed the Norwich Gazette into the recycling, the same newspaper listed last in the obituaries.