Say hello to an old friend

Nunatsiaq News print edition returns after 3-year break

Nunatsiaq News resumes its print edition on March 3, after a three-year interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A trial run that was printed on Feb. 10 and distributed at the Northern Lights trade show in Ottawa is seen here alongside a souvenir edition of the very first paper that was published in 1973. (Photo by Jeff Pelletier)

By Corey Larocque

Restart the presses! Nunatsiaq News is back in print!

After nearly a three-year interruption, this paper’s print edition returns this week.

We temporarily stopped publishing the print edition in March 2020, shortly after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. That topsy-turvy period is best summed up by the word “pivot.”

Businesses, governments, community organizations and individuals were forced to change what they did and how they did it.

Nunatsiaq News was hit with a triple whammy. The printing press we used cut back its production, and ultimately closed during the pandemic.

It became harder and more expensive to ship the newspapers as Canadian North reduced its flights and only shipped essential cargo.

And distributing the paper in the North became unpredictable, because everyone was encouraged to stay home and practise social distancing to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Hopefully, all that is fading into the history books now. Life in the North and across Canada is starting to look more like it did before the pandemic hit.

That’s why it’s time to bring back the print edition of Nunatsiaq News.

It’s a pleasant coincidence that we’re able to make this move just as the paper began celebrating its 50th anniversary in February.

So much has changed since 2020. Like everyone else, we learned a lot about doing things differently.

It’s abundantly clear that readers have shifted to getting their news online. The news business was headed that way before COVID-19, but the pandemic made that change happen faster and more thoroughly.

Readers have shown a preference for news delivered instantly, and our ability to do so has been refined as we have invested in our website and email distribution.

Our website — which was updated about eight months into the pandemic — continues to be the place where readers in Nunavut, Nunavik and southern Canada turn for the latest information about the North. We’re proud to say it won the Best Website category in the annual Quebec Community Newspapers Association awards for 2020 and 2021.

Social media, especially Facebook, is the way more and more of our readers are coming to Nunatsiaq News.

And the number of people who subscribe to our free e-edition, and get a PDF version of the paper delivered to their email inbox every Friday morning, continues to grow.

But there are still many readers who love the tradition of an ink-on-paper newspaper … perhaps with a cup of coffee in hand, as an indulgence during their busy days.

So, our print edition is returning as just one tool Nunatsiaq News is using to keep its readers informed and entertained.

It’s going to look slightly different from the way it did before the pandemic. Instead of newsprint, it will be printed on bond paper and it will be slightly smaller than the old tabloid look from three years ago.

Distribution will also be a bit different, with papers appearing in Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet, Cambridge Bay, Pangnirtung, Kuujjuaq and Ottawa … for starters.

Readers told us they missed the print edition after we pressed pause in 2020.

We believe this week’s return of the print edition will feel like reconnecting with an old friend you haven’t seen in a while. You realize how much you missed them. You realize they’ve changed, and you’ve changed.

But despite all the time that’s passed, you’re happy to see them again.

 

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