What does journalism have to do with economic development in Northern Ontario? More than you think. We used to rely on newspapers like the Sudbury Star, the Timmins Daily Press and the North Bay Nugget to learn who died, who graduated, what happened at City Council, and what we’re doing to address the economic challenges we face as a region. Today, newspaper circulation has plummeted, and many have ceased publishing, leaving many of us in the dark.
That’s where Jeff Elgie comes in. Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Jeff is the owner of Village Media, a digital media company with online news sites serving the Soo, Sudbury, Timmins, Elliot Lake, North Bay and 11 communities and counting in southern Ontario. Village Media also licenses its digital media content management platform to 45 other online news sites across North America, including Dougal Media’s TBnewswatch.com, and operates Northern Ontario Business and Sudbury Mining Solutions as online properties.
“Journalism is critical to a healthy democracy,” Jeff tells us, and as newspapers become less and less relevant, it’s digital media news sites like Soo Today and Sudbury.com that Northerners will rely on to make our voices heard, celebrate our successes, connect with each other and lobby senior levels of government.
In this interview, Jeff explains why traditional print media have failed to make a go of their own online news sites and how Village Media’s pan-Northern presence can be leveraged to report on challenges and opportunities common to the entire region.
Following the acquisition of Laurentian Media, publisher of Northern Life and Northern Ontario Business, Jeff elected to continue the Northern Ontario Business Awards program, an important means of celebrating entrepreneurship and business success.
Check out this interview to learn how Jeff leveraged his IT smarts, digital marketing experience and entrepreneurial talent to grow Village Media and keep quality journalism alive in Northern Ontario.