Vancouver Media
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Vancouver is a city with a population of roughly 1 million people if you include the greater Vancouver suburbs. The downtown core has become less population dense the past few decades, relative to the total population, mainly because it’s a small geographical area surrounded by water, limiting the space available. This means small apartments, and no chance of a yard or land to call your own.

The result is that downtown Vancouver’s residents are mostly single people, who can manage living in small apartments and prefer the busy city lifestyle over the suburbs. This is much like most cities, but in Vancouver it’s somewhat more pronounced, again due to the lack of space.

As a result, the demographics of downtown Vancouver are quite predictable, with little variation. This makes targeting this group of people much easier for media outlets, so downtown Vancouver has only a few dedicated newspapers, two are short, headline driven top story focused papers, one is an alternative paper called Georgia Straight.

Vancouverites aren’t big on news, as a whole, and because of this none of these papers has a cost attached, all are free. At first, the two headline driven papers had a cost, but demand was very low, so they went free of charge soon after. The Georgia Straight has never charged and is less news focused, instead directing its attention to lifestyle and Vancouver events.

None of this is a surprise to Canadians, who view Vancouver as the city to enjoy lifestyle and recreation, as opposed to Toronto, where people go to build a career and make money. Canada’s financial center is most definitely Toronto, but it’s destination centre is Vancouver. You’ll pay far more for a house in Vancouver than you will anywhere else in Canada, and that’s hard to do in Canada, with real estate values sky high.

Vancouver has a long history of relationships with cities on the west coast of USA, like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. Many of the same trends, fads, fashions, and of course, media forms are shared between these cities. For this reason, Vancouver has a left leaning, “hippy” culture remnant which still exerts influence and can be found in many cafes and community centers, which distribute leaflets and flyers to get the word out about a band, speaker, or organization around town.

This type of media, although humble, exerts tremendous cultural influence, as it is seen as unbiased and advertisement free, thus trustworthy. Local restaurants and coffee shops will rarely refuse to carry these leaflets and flyers if dropped off, and in fact most relish the chance to have them, as it authenticates their establishment as being “of the people.”

So, the underground culture in Vancouver is strong, to be sure, and for this reason and others, mainstream media outlets struggle to find a market. The demographic lines are often blurred in Vancouver, making it difficult to distinguish between groups of people which a media outlet would expect to take an interest in their publication.

Online media in Vancouver reflects a very similar landscape, with a large proportion of Vancouver Blogs focusing on lifestyle, food, and entertainment news. Often, they are merely an extension of the underground culture that already exists in Vancouver, and thus offer very similar news. Your typical Vancouver Blogger, if there is such a thing, is a “foodie” who knows every corner of Vancouver’s food scene, is experienced with Vancouver night life, and easily crosses the demographic barriers of Vancouverites.

Yet, this tendency for Vancouverites to meld together and become a much more cohesive demographic unit creates opportunities for those offering media of a different flavor, to be enjoyed by Vancouverites in secret, away from the crowds, and in the comfort of their own home.


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