Local Newspapers Are Communities Voices
Kim Kierans believes that a weekly newspaper is like “the conversation over the back fence.” She says that if you want to get to know a community, then take a look at a weekly newspaper. “When it’s well done, the weekly newspaper is the best reflection of a community.”
Kim is a student in the Atlantic Canadian Studies (ACS) Master’s program at Saint Mary’s and is so intrigued by the relationship between people and their weekly newspapers that she is researching the topic for her thesis. From her research she will produce a written thesis as well as three radio documentaries for broadcast.
“What I like most about the program is reading new books and being exposed to new ideas, but mostly working on my thesis. I’m in love with the project. I wish I could do it full time.”
She says that some might argue that community newspapers have become irrelevant in the Internet era but she argues the opposite. She says that the role of newspapers is even more important because there are fewer media outlets that can cover news from the smaller communities. Smaller communities are already alienated. They don’t have the same services as bigger centres. They are losing banks, post offices, grocery stores, and service stations. Their weekly newspaper is the last means for them to talk to one another.”
Kim’s work as a reporter and producer for CBC radio for the past 21 years is sure to provide some valuable insight. She is also an Assistant Professor in Broadcast Journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax. She has a weekly radio spot on CBC radio and a column in the Sunday Chronicle Herald devoted to stories she has picked up from the weeklies. She reads about 40 Maritime weeklies to find stories that most people would not otherwise hear.
“The successful community newspaper is the glue of the community. Without them communities would have no such voice in a provincial, regional or national medium,” she says.
More Information about the Faculty of Arts
Saint Mary's Home Page