After twenty years of operation, Quadra Island’s only weekly news publication suspended operations on March 25. As publisher/editor Amanda Smith explained, “the COVID emergency and the subsequent cancellation of all social events and shutdown of businesses meant that advertising revenue plummeted and I can no longer cover the bills.” Since then, a number of community members have kept encouraging her to bring it back. This morning there is good news: the Bird’s Eye is back.
Online Edition & A Few Paper Copies
“At this time we are running an online weekly edition on our website at www.thebirdseye.ca. A few paper copies will also be made available at Q-Cove TruValue, at Yellow Dog and at the Heriot Bay store foyer,” Smith wrote in her May 13, 2020, edition.
COVID’s Impact On Local Journalism
In a soon to be published interview with Cortes Currents, Linda Solomon Wood, Editor-in-Chief of the NATIONAL OBSERVER, described experiences like the Bird’s Eye’s as common throughout Canada. Fifty community newspapers went under during one six week period. 2,300 journalists lost their jobs.
Another local example of the pandemic’s impact is the Campbell River Mirror‘s decision to no longer publish a Friday edition.
One of the aspects that makes the Bird’s Eye’s story special is the publication’s restart.
This would not have been possible without strong community support.
Our Advertisers Made This Possible
“Our advertisers have made this comeback possible,” wrote Smith.
A prominent True Value Food’s add is displayed on the last page of today’s edition.
In one of the articles, Darcy Manners, manager of Heriot Bay Tru Value, explained that supply lines were too unreliable for them to advertise specific items after the pandemic hit.
“We hated having to take away the weekly specials but we knew that customers would be disappointed if we couldn’t fulfill them.”
Supplies have become more reliable since then.
“Now we are able to advertise a limited number of store specials again. We felt we owed it to our customers,” said Manners.
This May 13th edition of the Bird’s Eye also contains adds from Ross Mcphee Contracting Ltd, The Fermentations Craftory, John Seffzig Construction, Yellow Dog Bulk and Whole Foods and MLA Claire Trevena.
“We urge readers to support our local businesses that keep community strong,” wrote Smith.