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Co-operative conversion in the newspaper industry: Navigating between the reefs
towards success

Fouquet, É., Michaud, M., Audebrand, L.K., et Guillotte, C.-A. (2021). Co-operative conversation in the newspaper industry: Navigating between the reefs towards success. Journal of Co-operative Studies, 54(4), 82-91.

Gold Theme

The rise of digital media and platforms is driving significant change in the newspaper industry. These changes are forcing local media to alter their offerings and, for many, to change their ownership structure. In this context, cases of transformation into a co-operative form are particularly interesting.
This article presents the case of CN2i, a grouping of regional media in the province of Québec (Canada), that has adopted a co-operative form following the bankruptcy of the former private press group. This case is particularly interesting, because each local media is constituted as a multistakeholder co-operative, and they are all integrated into a second level co-operative. We rely on publicly available information and interviews with key actors to explore the success and challenges of the new co-operatives. Such a radical and fast transformation is accompanied by tensions that we highlight in this article. Drawing from a paradox perspective, we deepen the analysis of tensions arising from this transformation. We use Smith & Lewis’s (2011) framework to describe paradoxes as they correspond to belonging, organising, performing, or learning categories.

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