Onehundred and seventy-one years ago, LeRoy Robinson had already set the type for a large part of the first issue of this newspaper that he would publish on November 5th 1845. As the first issue candidly admitted on the verso pages, which would be page 2 and 3, the publisher learned, while setting the second page, that a new plan would have to be devised to collect subscription money.
Robinson’s operation was thread bare. He and maybe an apprentice, as he had been, did not have the luxury of a Linotype, which was 40 years in the future. So the first issue that we still have in our office is a reminder that we have it easy today.
This newspaper has survived a lot and it looks like it will survive even more in the months to come. While the number of tablets sold is sliding mad, Quebec’s foremost daily and its regional siblings are going full ahead with their plan to cease publishing on paper to become a tabnews. An unstainable business model like Postmedia, owner of the Montreal Gazette, recently realized that the advertising did not come forward to pay the bills and shut down that service.
This newspaper exists only because you buy it and you patronize our advertisers. And we need more of both, but so does every newspaper on the planet.
So if you know someone who is not subscribing yet, that’s the time to spread the good news. And always, please, tell an advertiser that you saw his ad in the Stanstead Journal.
That sales pitch concluded, and you should see the similarity between this one and what LeRoy Robinson was writing 171 years ago, we must remind you of what we are and are not.
We are not a public company able to spend our annual budget a couple of times over on tax dodges advised by lawyers and fiscalists. Then again, Revenue Canada has not assessed us at over forty five million, either, or more or less two-thirds of our value on the Toronto Stock Exchange if we were listed there. Don’t worry, it’s public knowledge for all to see, we won’t get sued.
We do not try to stray from what we are. We are a small local weekly community newspaper in the traditional sense. We believe that we provide you with a balanced view of this community. We are a tradition that has lasted for over one hundred and seventy one years.
While we are not living issue to issue, we depend on you for the well-being of this newspaper. So, as we conclude our last issue for our one hundred and seventieth year, we would really appreciate it if you could spread a good word or two to your friends and relatives.