When it was announced a couple of weeks ago that Sun Media was going to be cranking out a new weekly paper here - and in three other markets in Ontario - some of us wondered if it was part of the company's continued prosecution of correcting the left-wing bias in the media. But having read a new copy of the Guelph Review, I can safely say that if this was the point of the new paper, then they've really missed the mark.
So let's peruse this week's issue: Cute dog with bunny ears on the cover; an editorial about Easter; several news stories including articles about road construction, online dating, sunscreen and the OHL draft, all written by the same three people; entertainment, fashion and lifestyle articles from the Sun Media wire agency; four pages about cars; four pages of classifieds; a two-page spread featuring Easter activities; a crossword and no less than two sudokus.
So there's absolutely nothing controversial, but reading about Sun Media's move to turn four local Smart Shopper papers, which used to be fill with ads and coupons, we really shouldn't have been. “The expansion of our community newspaper network is a bold statement of our commitment to the newspaper industry,” said a Sun Media exec when the move was announced. “Adding editorial makes them a quality offering for advertisers.”
So in the parlance of our time, it's all about the bling bling! It's actually smart business. How much do you want to bet that the average time someone read the Smart Saver was the time it took to take it out of the mailbox and put it in the trash can? But hey, now there's articles and stuff to kill time doing!
Time will tell if the Guelph Review will evolve into something else, but for the time being it's a perfectly inoffensive little community paper that doesn't even have a website yet, unless you count being able to read a digital version of the paper, complete with simulated page turning effect. But there's always room for more voices, and more media, and we all know there's plenty going on in Guelph to cover.
Welcome to the fold Guelph Review. So to speak.