Through the forums on my English 384 Creative non-fiction course site, I learned that the Globe and Mail was accepting submissions. Usually before I consider what I am going to submit I like to look through the magazine, or in this case, paper: What articles are they running? What is the tone? Who are their advertisements directed at? These all give an insight into what they may be looking for.
So, I thought I would pop down to a local convenience store in my small town and pick up the paper. This particular store has a large magazine/newspaper rack. I was shocked when I stood there, searching through the titles, searching, searching, and nothing. All that was available was the local paper, an abundance of X-rated magazines, hunting and fishing, quilting, celebrity gossip, and teen magazines. I suppose, judging by the collection being at least half magazines which were wrapped in plastic and hidden at the back, perhaps I had chosen the wrong store.
Moving onto store number two, a pharmacy. This store had a significantly smaller news rack. Also significantly less X-rated material. However, the rest followed the same theme as the first store, only with different ratios, here the most popular seemed to be teen magazines and quilting. At least these are G-rated. And, a majority of the 3000 people that live here quilt; if you don’t quilt you know someone who does?I know someone who does. So it makes sense, supply and demand. But, unfortunately, no Globe and Mail, and nothing even remotely similar.
I decided to move onto lucky number three. Store number three really has it all: it is a dollar store, grocery store, movie rental, Canadian 2 for 1 pizza joint, frozen yogurt stand, fireworks store, and a Mr. Sub. This store has to have it, I think, it is an old-school, one-stop shop themed store. But, the one thing they don’t have? A newsstand. The local paper and free classifieds are stacked on the front counter, but nothing national. Strike number three.
So I decided to make a call when I got home, to my parents a town over to see if they could possibly find one for me there. My question was answered with laughter, but after they gathered themselves they agreed to look for me. And much to my disappointment, but at this point not surprise, they struck out. Magazine and newspaper stands there looked about the same as here.
A friend was flying to Vancouver the next week, and graciously offered to pick one up for me. Seems like a lot of effort to get a newspaper! I do realise there is a very obvious solution to this problem: go online. I know I could find all the information I wanted by browsing their website. But sometimes it is nice to be able to flip through a physical paper rather than scroll through a page. While I love my small town, and the lifestyle that comes along with it, sometimes I am shocked at the lack of diversity, the lack of resources.
I understand that local newspapers are important, and you do have to supply the magazines which are in demand. I suppose, also, that these kinds of magazines could, in theory, open your mind, depending on what part of your mind you are looking to expand. I just find it disappointing that it is next to impossible here to find a newspaper or magazine that reports on world events.
Deanna Roney is an AU student who loves adventure in life and literature