Newspapers across North America are facing extinction-like threats in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are experiencing economic hardship as advertisements that generate most of their revenue continue to decrease. Furthermore, more and more people are finding it convenient to read news stories on websites. More news stories are written on websites than ever, and the economic model of newspapers which rely heavily on advertisement is no longer viable.
Newspapers across the continent are cutting staff due to declining revenues. Some small newspapers will be forced out of business by the pandemic. The larger ones are trying to find new revenue streams to sustain their journalism. That is the case with Torstar Corporation. The company employs 4000 people and planning to join the online gambling industry to fund its journalism.
There are many casino brands in Canada, but Torstar is still eager to get a revenue share in the market. The company aims to be exceptional in promoting responsible gambling while giving back to the community through social programs. Torstar says its online gambling activities will be in line with Ontario’s gambling regulations.
Torstar’s idea is experimental given that no newspaper has ever generated revenue directly from gambling activities; instead, newspapers generate revenue from promoting online casino brands. However, due to limitations in the advertisement in Canada, that is not a possibility for Torstar.
From the moral standpoint, offering online casino services or promoting online casino services, the difference is the same. Thus, Torstar engaging in online casino gambling may serve as a successful revenue stream for the struggling corporation.
However, not everyone is happy about the new venture; they fear that the Atkinson principles, which the newspaper has held on for decades, may soon be breached. Joseph Atkinson, the founder, promoted the idea that newspapers should advocate social, economic, and political reforms.