Patience . . . such sweet torment
No Bulletin in your Publisac?
It’s no secret that Aylmer has expanded. Mushrooming residential developments are bringing fresh faces here from around the world, a delight and enrichment. A second non-secret is that the newspaper industry is transforming.
The phone at the Bulletin d’Aylmer has been ringing off the hook since December. With Aylmer’s growth, the distribution company delivering the newspapers re-organized which neighbourhoods are getting the limited number of Bulletins we currently print. A few residents who have been receiving the paper for years are no longer getting it.
And are they irate! We field calls from people who say they pull out the Bulletin and throw away the rest of the bag. They say they have lived here 30 years and are “entitled to the paper”. They say they can’t live without their Bulletin! Their Saturday mornings aren’t the same anymore. They say they deserve to know what’s going on in Aylmer. They say our website doesn’t have the local ads. They say the website isn’t the same as the paper.
We say: thank you! These are compliments of the highest order.
They also say they won’t subscribe. No matter that the subscription rate is around 50$ per year (that’s a buck per week).
But here’s the rub. As a journalist, in their place, my first step would be: follow the money. Why are we, as a collective, experiencing this problem? Wouldn’t the Bulletin print more copies and distribute to everyone if we could afford it? Of course the goal of the Bulletin is to deliver top quality news to every home in Aylmer. But let’s face it, three community papers closed last month in Canada. There’s not a lot of money these days. And by no means are newspapers dead -- the proof is here in Aylmer, with our phone ringing from people wanting their copy of the paper!
The Bulletin d’Aylmer has been at the convergence of these two very dynamic realities: Aylmer’s growth and the newspaper industry’s transition. Independently-owned, the Bulletin lives entirely by being a local paper. There’s no investment fund or giant corporation that feeds the paper to help pay the people who create the newspaper, the printers, the distributors, the office bills, the insurance, etc. And yet, we manage to deliver to most homes here, free of charge to the readers. Aylmer loves its newspaper, the Bulletin. Aylmer is the only sector in Gatineau with its own media.
So far our most cost-efficient means of delivery is by flyer-bag. It is a service that is reliable and comprehensive, even if expensive and getting more expensive every year. We will keep looking for alternatives which might reach everyone, every week.
Thank you for your patience, dear readers. We will increase the print-run. But perhaps you could lend a hand in getting us there? Shop with our advertisers! That is the number one way to help the Bulletin. Tell them! You are shopping local, and they offer the best of Aylmer. That’s just what we aim to do, too.