ROTHENBURGER – The pandemic will either kill newspapers or save them

THE LAST NAIL IN THE COFFIN of the community newspaper industry has a name — COVID-19. Or, the virus might prove to be its salvation. It could go either way.

Several newspapers have put their survival in the hands of readers. On Wednesday, Kamloops This Week sent out a call for public donations. The previous Friday, the Sun Peaks Independent News did the same. According to both, the response has been encouraging.

The objective is to save their print editions, that old-fashioned style of newspapers that land on your doorstep or group mail box instead of your email in-basket. They’re swimming against a tide of shutdowns that’s accelerated along with the spread of the coronavirus.

Online editions and websites were once viewed as an add-on to publishing on newsprint; now, for many papers, they’re a last-gasp option for trying to remain viable. Unfortunately, they’ve never proven to be reliable money-makers.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9652 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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