A Winnipeg institution is calling it quits after more than a century.
The Winnipeg Press Club, which was formed in 1887, making it the oldest media club in Canada, announced Monday that it’s officially dissolving after 136 years.
President Dwight MacAulay told 680 CJOB’s Connecting Winnipeg that the club — originally a collection of local newspaper reporters, editors and publishers — isn’t as relevant as it once was.
“It is a sad day, really, but you know the press club has sort been on life support for the last several years — we haven’t met for the last two years,” MacAulay said.
“I think everything has shelf life, or what I’ll call a best-before date, and I think this is really true of the Winnipeg Press Club.
“It’s not just the club that has changed but society in general has changed with respect to the media. Some TV stations have even come and gone, radio stations and newspapers have also come and gone… it’s just a sign of the times that things have changed.”
The club, which expanded from print media to include broadcasters in 1947 and first welcomed female journalists in 1970, is best known for its almost half-century tenure in the bowels of the Marlborough Hotel, from 1961 to 2008, as well as its long-running Beer & Skits series.
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MacAulay said while newspapers were once the only way Manitobans would get their news, the media landscape has exploded in recent years with developments like social media — and the societal changes have helped reduce the once-prominent role of journalists.
“There’s just so many media outlets now. When you had just one or two TV stations, one or two newspapers, the big reporters and the big announcers, they were well recognized and respected virtually everywhere they went… but now you have such a large number of radio stations, TV stations,” he said.
“Things have changed, no doubt about it… it’s had a good run — 136 years is pretty impressive.”
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