Editorial - EFNews UPDATE
- Kerry Benjoe | February 12, 2024
To say 2023 was a difficult news year would be a mild statement and unfortunately 2024 is not looking any brighter for all news outlets across Canada.
Some of you may have noticed the absence of a physical paper and a lack of new content on the website.
Sadly, the Eagle Feather team is announcing that after almost 27 years, we are on hiatus.
Like many news outlets, our paper has fallen on hard times.
Since June, we have seen an alarming and steady decline in ad sale revenue, which coincides with the introduction of the Online News Act.
Ad sales is our bread and butter at Eagle Feather.
For those who don’t know, advertising is how we are able to pay our writers to produce the content for our monthly paper and our website. These funds also pay for our printing and shipping costs, as well as all other operating expenses.
Up until December, we were able to continue producing content thanks to the support from the Local Journalism Initiative.
As we continue to navigate difficult waters, we have been brainstorming ideas on how to keep Eagle Feather alive.
One seemingly easy option is to move to an online newspaper only.
However, our ability to do this is hampered by not only our outdated website but the absence of an app. We had hoped to create a new interactive website and downloadable news app in 2024, but those plans like the paper have been put on hold.
At the present time, we are looking at ways to continue our operations.
I will be stepping away from editorial to focus on our financial situation.
The bottom line is we need to keep our news site operational until we figure out our next steps.
We are not the only media outlet feeling the strain.
At CBC, there will be 800 less jobs in 2024. Thursday Bell Media the parent company of CTV News announced a massive layoff of 4,800 employees.
At this point in time, I don’t know what the future holds for community news when mainstream media outlets are also having difficulty staying afloat.
I remain hopeful we will return in some format because our Indigenous stories are important and are essential to building community. We need space to celebrate our accomplishments, our role models, our hard work, and our advancements.
If all else fails we will have to make the tough decision to fold, but our dedicated team at Eagle Feather will do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen.
We are asking for support from the community, businesses, First Nations, and organizations whether it’s through words of encouragement, testimonials, sponsorships, partnerships, or the purchase of online ads.
Thank you and stay tuned.