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Touchstones presents story of Nelson’s print media

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
November 3rd, 2019

The evolution of print media in Nelson is now on full display as Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History presents the story of Nelson’s print media available for viewing at the Vernon Street location from now until February 17th., 2020.

The exhibit, curated by local historian Greg Nesteroff, walks historians through the beginning of industry in Nelson with the first edition of the Nelson Miner hitting the streets in June 1890 to the bustling daily with a circulation that covered the Kootenays to today’s online publications.

The exhibit’s opening Saturday featured a panel discussion that included former editors, reporters and publishers involved in changing role of newspapers through the past few decades.

Hosted by Nesteroff, who has worn many hats in local media industry, included Greg Scott, office manager at the Nelson Daily News, NDN Editor Bob Hall and reporters Rita Moir and Kathleen Rodgers as well as Express Publisher/Owner Nelson Becker.

The panel discussed many key issues from the past 40 years, including major stories from Nelson’s past to the demise of the daily newspaper in July of 2010 when Black Press shut down the 100-plus year old business after purchasing the chain from Glacier Media.

“A lot was working against the Daily News at the time,” said former NDN Editor Bob Hall. “There was a world-wide recession as well newspapers all across North America were on the decline.”

Hall remembered the sad day when staff was told of the decision close the Daily News.

Scott told the audience finances just didn’t add up for the parent company, Glacier Media.

A decision to close the press in Nelson and move printing to Cranbrook was a major blow. As well subscriptions declined to below a sufficient operating number combined with a loss of some major advertising revenue when clients moved to other publications.

Rodgers and Moir, both seasoned reporters for the NDN, touched on Nelson’s Heritage revitalization after the Kootenay Forest Products closed operations in the early 1980s and Valhalla Wilderness Park being a major stories covered during their careers.

Nelson Becker, publisher/owner of Express weekly newspaper for 22 years, saw his run come to an end when revenue sources dried up, forcing the final publication  on February 11, 2011.

The exhibit presents original pages from each decade, along with photographs and ephemera as well as the changing role of newspapers in the community and changes in the industry itself — both technologically and journalistically.

Where once Nelson’s papers carried items about promising mining claims and ads for blacksmiths and pack trains, today they are replete with news of the burgeoning cannabis industry and ads for ski shops and car dealerships.

Touchstones Museum, open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., is located at 502 Vernon Street in Nelson.

The discussion panel included, from left, Nelson Becker, Express Owner/Publisher, Rita Moir, NDN Reporter, exhibit curator Greg Nesteroff, NDN Editor Bob Hall, Office Manager Greg Scott and NDN Reporter Kathleen Rodgers. — The Nelson Daily photo

The timeline in the Kootenay News publication starts from the begining to 1960.

The timeline in the Kootenay News runs until modern day.

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