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BC Library Conference 2020

T02 - On the record: A candid look at newspaper closures in our province and what librarians need to know.

Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 9:00 AM–10:15 AM EDT
Meeting Room #2
Session Description

Generously sponsored by: Mugo Web

In an age of increasing fear surrounding “fake news” and with the growing number of newspaper closures in our province, where can citizens turn to find reliable information? Who is holding local, provincial and federal governments to account without journalists on the ground? Is our democratic well-being jeopardized? In this session, librarians from the Legislative Library of British Columbia will address these concerns through the lens of their own services to their clients, and will provide extensive background on the changes to the media landscape that have taken place in the province over the last decade.
The Legislative Library offers a vendor-based media monitoring service to its clients but increasing newspaper consolidation and exclusive media rights deals have posed new challenges to the initiatives with which the library seeks to deliver the news. This session will discuss the services offered by the Legislative Library, and some of the recent challenges faced with vendors before moving to a detailed look at news media in the province. Join us for this intriguing look at what’s behind the province’s print-news media industry. The presentation aims to illuminate the business of newspapers, from large-scale news ownership structures and “newspaper barons” to emerging independents and online news models. Topics of discussion will include who owns the news, newspaper consolidation, ghost papers, news deserts, and takeaways for the future. Newspapers, like libraries, are an important element of civic life and the loss of a local newspaper can deeply impact a community. This session will provide an overview of the current state of news in British Columbia and will discuss some of the implications both for work in libraries and for anyone who reads the news.


Anna Loster, Legislative Library of British Columbia

Anna Loster joined the Legislative Library of British Columbia in March 2018 after over 10 years working in public libraries. Anna works as a Technical Services Librarian and as part of her variety of roles, oversees the Legislative Library’s electronic resources collection.

Megan Laflin, Legislative Library of British Columbia

Megan Laflin earned her MLIS from McGill University and has been a Reference Librarian at the Legislative Library since 2016. In addition to fielding reference questions Megan is responsible for the library’s current awareness services.