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Local newspapers should not be cut when it comes to public notice advertising: Councillor Linda Annis

Surrey, B.C. (March 11, 2024): Surrey First City Councillor Linda Annis says she opposes a recommendation in a staff report to city council that would eliminate public notice advertising in community newspapers. The staff recommendation is to rely on social media, the city’s website, and household mailers, instead of Surrey newspapers.

“When it comes to keeping our community informed, we should be looking at adding information tools, not reducing community outreach and public consultation,” said Annis, who opposed a similar move by then Mayor Doug McCallum in May 2022. “The fact is we need as many public information tools as possible to reach our residents, particularly with regard to issues that are important to this city.”

The staff report questions the viability of Black Press and its local Surrey newspapers. Annis said the sale and corporate restructuring of Black Press gives her confidence in the future of Surrey’s community newspapers.

“Together, the Surrey Now-Leader, Cloverdale Reporter, and Peace Arch News have a combined weekly readership of more than 200,000,” said Annis. “At the same time, community newspapers are a trusted source of news, public affairs, and community information. Pulling the city’s public notice advertising from our community newspapers hurts our community and undermines public consultation. Instead, we should be supporting our local media and adding to the ways we distribute information in our city. Whether it’s in print or online, our city’s community newspapers do a tremendous job of connecting our residents, our businesses, and our neighbourhoods. When it comes to publicizing city issues we need more outreach, not less.”