Saving and growing Canadian journalism has a soft spot for us at CanadianCrossing.com because of 1) journalism; 2) Canada; 3) Canadians; and 4) accountability. We recently wrote about the idea of putting government money into non-profit news ventures.
Now one well-established Montréal newspaper is going the non-profit route. La Presse, which has been completely online since the beginning of 2018, announced that the paper will go the non-profit route and will cut ties with the Desmarais family, who will donate $50 million to the not-for-profit.
La Presse is one of 4 major Montréal newspapers avec Le Devoir and Le Journal de Montréal en Francaise and the lone English-language newspaper, the Gazette.
La Presse has gone through significant changes in recent years, giving up Sundays in 2009 and weekdays in 2016. The Saturday printed edition went out as 2017 ended. Le Journal de Montréal is the only printed Montréal newspaper to be available on Sundays. In Canada, the major weekend paper is on Saturdays, not Sundays.
La Presse said the newspaper will now be able to raise donations based on the new status. The newspaper doesn't serve as the typical example of how the potential smaller non-profits will work, but in an era of learning by example, La Presse should offer lessons, good and bad, on how non-profit journalism can work in Canada and elsewhere.
photo credit: La Presse