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Dare we say we had a great year?

December 20th,2023 | Opinion

Considering all the depressing headlines about the state of news and the world in general, is it awkward or tone-deaf to gush like a schoolgirl and say that for us here at the Low Down it was, like, the best year ever?

Ok, maybe not ever, but 2023 was pretty darn great. After all, you only turn 50 once, and the fact that this little rag is still alive and kicking in a time when over 500 Canadian newspapers stopped printing and Meta banned all news sites from its platforms, is impressive in its own right. Against all odds, we seem to be bucking the trend: Our readership is actually growing.

We had a great year thanks to you: our loyal readers who read and pay for local news and our supportive local businesses who allot their hard-won dollars into advertising in another local biz and not just to the foreign tech giants. (We’ll make the shameless but important plug here that a 2023 study shows that for every dollar spent at a small business, 66 cents on average stays local versus 11 cents spent at a multinational retailer. A win-win-win!) Help also came in the form of grants to hire reporters and find ways to better reach the community, and a couple of local organizations partnered with us to make our big anniversary a blockbuster. We really made the most of our 50th, and we had so much fun doing it.

It kicked off at the Wakefield Writers Festival, whose thoughtful organizers hosted an evening entitled “Does local journalism matter?” – and we got a resounding “Yes!” from the sold-out crowd. From there, we packed up the back editions and the 1980s Mac computer for an historical display put on by the generous and creative crew at the Fairbairn House, which ran all summer and into the fall; they even created a short documentary film about the Low Down. Right after that, we launched our bold and hopefully thought-provoking blank edition: “Silent Hills – No news is bad news”, which yielded us some radio interviews and a bunch of new subscribers. In October, we published our mammoth 60-page double-anniversary edition. Without a moment to catch our breath, we then threw the bash of the half-century at Vorlage, where nearly 270 fans (like, oh my gawd, we actually have fans!) filled the room and our hearts with their cheers of support, impressive dance moves and donations to the newly-created non-profit called Friends of the Low Down (FoLD). For our final hurrah, last week we channelled our inner Willy Wonkas for our Golden Ticket Giveaway. (Did you find a golden ticket in your copy? There are still a few prizes unclaimed.) 

All in all, we have had a blast celebrating our milestone with all of you. Money pays the bills, but knowing that this community cares about its local paper keeps the news fires burning to be the best damn paper for its readers week after week.

Thank you, Gatineau Hills. You made our year. Here’s to 2024!

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Support feisty, independent journalism.

 

At the Low Down, we are passionate about delivering quality local news to Gatineau Hills residents. But passion alone cannot pay the bills.

To help meet the demands of inflation and the costs of producing fact-based local news, we have introduced new pricing options. Our goal is to meet readers where they’re at, and keep our newspaper as affordable as possible.

Print + Digital Subscriptions

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