It may be politically expedient for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MP Cheryl Gallant to do so, but she knows a thing or two about shining a light on new local businesses. While shopping at Afelskie’s in Barry’s Bay recently she picked up a print copy of The Current and this prompted her to invite us to be interviewed by her. Not one to miss out on an opportunity for self-promotion, The Current’s editor Danielle Paul agreed to meet Gallant the next time she visited the Bay. So on Friday 13th Gallant went live on Facebook to ask Paul some questions.
Paul began by explaining that she and her husband started The Current because they and a group of Valley residents saw a void in local news coverage. She said there was no one prepared to “speak truth to power” or “look under the hood” on the municipal scene. They had also identified that seasonal residents of the municipality were often unable to tap into the local knowledge base when not in the Valley. And in an important nod to our local Renfrew County demographic, the Pauls decided on a core feature of their new publication: The Current would operate as a not-for-profit business offering a free news source to the community – both online and in print. They would do this with advertising support from local businesses.
Gallant was told that since its launch in January 2018, The Current has provided a free news source to readers interested in Valley matters, including snowbirds in the southern US and Latin America. Being primarily online, Google statistics tell The Current not only how many readers it has for each article but also where they log in. For example, in June more than 7,500 readers from many areas including Toronto, Pembroke, Barry’s Bay, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Kitchener-Waterloo conducted almost 16,000 sessions. Paul told Gallant it is a “homegrown” product: local reporting, writing, editing, photography, design, web hosting, printing and distribution. She said The Current is grateful to the local corps of volunteer reporters, especially those regularly providing columns or features, and she thanked the readers and advertisers who support the paper.
Paul said providing a monthly print selection of articles has been challenging but very rewarding. Print distribution has effectively tripled and readership is high because distribution is in public buildings and waiting rooms. She believes their business model has been vindicated as they are close to covering all production and distribution costs. She said they hope to help develop some young journalists in the Valley.
Click BELOW to see the full interview (15 mins.)
Editor’s note: Gallant interviewed Cameron Montgomery of Studio Dreamshare in Pembroke on September 6 about the gallery’s first exhibition of work by Valley artists Wild Women of the Wilderness: Joyce Burkholder, Linda Sorensen and Kathy Haycock. Click HERE for Studio Dreamshare on Facebook to see the video.
Dunno seems both publications in Barry,s Bay have there own axes to grind free or not !
Think the issue is TRUST and so far We trust neither , bad state of affairs in this country when you can not trust the Media and the politicians. Trust is not something to fool with, once lost very hard to get back .