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Editorial: Attack on news outlets continues, but we’re still here

The attack on news outlets in Canada is on, and sadly, news organizations of all kinds, both big and small, are receiving no help whatsoever
The Weyburn Review and Weyburn This Week, like all news outlets in Canada, will no longer have any links to stories on Facebook, Instagram or Google.

The attack on news outlets in Canada is on, and sadly, news organizations of all kinds, both big and small, are receiving no help whatsoever from the federal government, or from tech giants like Meta and Google.

As has been warned over the past couple of months, as outlined in the full-page ad in today’s Weyburn Review, access to the news is going to become harder.

If anything, news access in a democratic nation should be easier – but thanks to our Liberal overseers in Parliament, they passed the Online News Act and within 180 days of its passing, the news will not be found by Googling it, or by looking it up on Facebook or Instagram.

The new act requires the online companies to pay news organizations for providing links to news stories, and want new agreements to this effect to be established.

In response, Google and Meta have said no, and will remove all links to news stories.

News organizations like the Weyburn Review / This Week are, of course, still accessible through our website, and with the printed copies of our newspapers. If you want to find out what’s happening at the local level, you can still find it, but the phrase to “Google it” to find out anything no longer has any meaning.

Local news outlets are the victims in this, as the only ones who can make a difference have both abdicated any responsibility to ensuring the dissemination of news is widely available.

The federal government has failed the industry by insisting on passing their legislation, and the tech giants have failed them by basically turning their backs on the public by curtailing the availability of news.

Not even the pulling of advertising dollars have made any difference to these online platforms, which truly makes no sense. What company is going to intentionally hurt themselves by restricting links to public news stories, and not blinking when they have revenue pulled? What possible sense is there?

Obviously residents need to follow and remove themselves from Facebook, Instagram and Google, and use any other platform available. 

Even though these companies are massive, they can’t ignore the exodus of people and businesses from their ranks.

Meanwhile, news outlets like the Review-This Week will continue to provide ongoing coverage of the people and events of the community – this is our business, and it’s our solemn duty to the residents of this region. 

We are here to tell the story of Weyburn and the surrounding areas, and to share the news and the stories of the remarkable people who make their living and do remarkable things as they make our community a better place to be.