Echoes of a Community
The Community Digest is baffling. An emphatic slogan graces the top of the publication, just below the title: “QUEST FOR CULTURAL HARMONY, DIVERSITY AND PLURALISM.” All caps and forceful, the Community Digest delivers on its quest, in some respects.
The Canadian monthly is printed in both French and English — thus appealing to Canada’s bilingual audiences — and, for content, the digest actively reports on marginalized communities beyond Canada’s predominantly white populace. Stories on the Sikh communities, Syrian refugees, and intercultural outreach are spread across the paper’s pages.
Things get odd when researching the inner workings of the paper. Community Digest’s website boasts an identifier for the digest: “Canada’s First Uniquely Multicultural Magazine Since 1983.”
In 1982, Canada integrated press freedom into its constitution, meaning just a year later the Community Digest was launched. Only a handful of copies are archived however, and those only date back to 2016.
Despite historics apparently attached to it, a quick google search yields no outside results for evidence of a journalistic presence for the Community Digest. They have no social media presence or any shares on the social media of others.
The graphics of the magazine seem rudimentary; there is no cover page, making the operation seem like more of a multi-page flyer than a magazine. However, in readership, the paper boasts wide distribution.
There are printed versions for Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario, pertinent content and languages apply to the different versions. As evidenced below, the British Columbia edition boasts a distribution of 25,000, though without digital or physical metrics on audience interaction, one is unsure of how much of the paper is getting read.
A subscription service is in place with the prices as follows: “[ ] 1 year ($39.00) [ ] 2 years ($69.00) [ ] 3 years ($89.00).” Many of the advertisements are public service awareness blurbs, which suggest that government funding may come into play on a grant or pay-to-advertise basis.
While the content feels necessary in terms of raising awareness and promoting “pluralism” in outlook, the Community Digest doesn’t really provide much convincing for the weight they hold on the issues.
The only thing you can find out is that the Community Digest is indeed a publication and is indeed located in British Columbia.
Whereas other Canadian media can be dynamic and engaged in a digital world, the Community Digest remains grounded in a printed one. Whether this model is sustainable, remains in question.
-Canada’s journalistic history