ontario news watch

Media observers worry about impact of Métro Média closure on Quebec’s local democracy

MONTREAL — Media observers say the abrupt closure of Quebec newspaper publisher Métro Média will end news coverage of local government in parts of the province’s two largest cities.

Andrew Mulé, Métro Média’s president and CEO, announced the immediate suspension of operations at the company’s more than 30 hyperlocal publications late Friday afternoon. 

Patrick White, a journalism professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal, says the closure is bad news for local democracy.

He says the company’s reporters were the only journalists covering many of the borough councils, which deliver a wide range of municipal services — in Quebec City and Montreal. 

Mulé blamed the closure on a Montreal municipal bylaw that requires people to opt-in to receive bags containing printed flyers, which was the primary distribution method for the company’s printed newspapers.

Métro Média employed around 100 people. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 13, 2023. 

The Canadian Press