• Nikki Mantell

Low Down change-up

Changes are coming to The Low Down newsroom, which we hope are going to make this little-rag-that-could you hold in your hands even better.


I’ll be honest, having one person (me) responsible for both the editorial side of this paper as well as running the business end of things has been a big load; it’s really meant to be two separate jobs.


And now it is, with the hiring of our new editor-in-chief. We are excited to bring Trevor Greenway back to the news team in this new role. Readers will remember his excellent reporting for us from 2008 to 2013, during which time his thorough in-the-know pieces on local issues won us awards both at the provincial and national levels.


Even after he moved on to his next gig at a daily and later a communications position, he still couldn’t stay away: writing a music column and perhaps even the odd hockey story. He is fresh-but-familiar blood and will bring a new perspective on how to treat local news. Trevor loves The Low Down and we consider his return a score. (I could go on, but I’ll leave that for his first editorial column when he starts Sept. 15.)


With Trevor leading the news team, that frees me up to focus on the overall health of the newspaper, including long-term plans to keep your local paper alive and well for years to come. It’s no secret local media outlets across North America have closed in droves in recent years, so it’s crucial we look at different ways of generating revenue and staying engaged with readers.


This pandemic shook us to our core: last year we shut down for three weeks, then resumed at a biweekly publishing schedule for the next five months. But we’ve bounced back thanks to a number of factors, including some grants, increased provincial advertising of health protocols, the loyalty of our regular local advertisers and, very importantly, our readers. Our hearts swell with happiness and gratitude — we put out the call at the beginning of the pandemic that we needed readers now more than ever and you responded: our subscriptions went up 15 per cent.


It’s a much-needed shot in the arm to know Gatineau Hills residents value a local paper and support it with their wallets. After I relinquish my news-related duties to our new editor-in-chief, I’ll be spending my freed-up time finding ways to diversify our revenue streams to make your local paper a going concern for years to come.


Meanwhile Trevor can concentrate on the facts, and nothing but the facts, making The Low Down an even better read than it already is. Make sure to drop him a line at editor@lowdownonline.com.