When a major newspaper chain shut down the Kingsville Reporter, a local woman jumped into the void.
Although she has no background in journalism or editing, Mary Ellen Havlik felt it was important to have a local news source.
She started the Kingsville Times, a free online news site that features community events, celebrations and, of course, news.
“A lot of people in town were really upset that they didn’t have this channel to share news and information, so there was a lot of support for someone to step in and fill that gap,” Havlik said.
“But we think we have presented something to the public that is a good start, and we hope to develop it over time.”
Postmedia announced sweeping pay cuts in April due to COVID-19. The company also closed five weeklies in the Windsor-Essex area, including the Kingsville Reporter.
LISTEN | Read more about Havlik on the birth of the online journal:
Havlik said the shutdown “came as a shock” to many, as the post lasted for about 144 years.
She said support for the online site was felt, with volunteer staff writing lifestyle content, news, obituaries, announcements and other stories.
She hopes the advertising dollars will eventually help pay for some salaries, and for now, the newspaper is free.
“I think it’s important that we have this document,” Havlik said.
Havlik says The Times has already reached around 5,000 to 10,000 readers.