CTV seems to be the only outlet so far to note that five Transcontinental community weeklies in Montreal have given up on trying to be bilingual and have switched to French-only publication.
The papers in question are:
- Le Messager Verdun
- Le Messager Lachine/Dorval
- Le Messager LaSalle
- Le Magazine Île des Soeurs
- La Voix Pop (at least that’s what I assume CTV means by “Le Magazine Sud-ouest”, which doesn’t exist)
Transcontinental says they’ll keep some English content online (and by that I assume they mean they’ll link to stories from the anglo papers like the West Island Chronicle and Westmount Examiner).
The anglos CTV talked to complained about the lack of news about their community as a result of this change, but when we’re talking about 12-page issues that contain maybe a page and a half of editorial content (most of which is fluff pieces or borough announcements), I think it’s a bit too late to complain about the loss of community news.
Still, it’s a bit cheap of them. There are a lot of anglophones in Verdun who won’t be happy about this. Why shouldn’t they get some of their local news in their language, if they represent a significant part of a borough?
The English content in Verdun’s Messager, at least, back when I took the time to read it, is paltry. And if you don’t have a child going to an English school in Verdun, the content addressed to you is halved. It’s a shame to lose it, but there wasn’t much to lose to begin with.
I was starting to wonder why it had been a few weeks with no English content in the Verdun Messager. The paper is also significantly thinner than it used to be. Seems like they cut more than just English stories, which all together used to take up maybe a page a week.
There is a sizeable English speaking population in Verdun and in many of the areas where English content was cut. This might be a great opportunity for someone in those communities to publish an English speaking news tabloid for people in that community….