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From Local Journalism to Indie Publishing: Charting the Wreckhouse Press Evolution

two pairs of feet stand close to a statement etched into the sidewalk that says "passion led us here'
Wreckhouse Press is transitioning away from journalism.

by Rosalyn Roy

Editorial Director

As Wreckhouse Press embarks on a new chapter, it's important to share a significant shift in our content strategy. Moving forward, we will pivot away from providing news content, focusing instead on relevant information and behind-the-scenes glimpses that mirror our journey and transition more towards the book publishing and print shop part of our business. This adjustment aligns with our evolving mission to deepen our engagement with storytelling and print, offering our readers insight into the realities and challenges of small-town newspaper journalism. We understand that this potential farewell is not without its weight considering the journey we've traversed together when it comes to covering news relevant to the Southwest Coast, but it opens the door to new beginnings for Wreckhouse Press and our authors and business clients.

In the early days of my career, before Wreckhouse Press was even a glimmer in my eye, I grappled with the realities of local journalism. The Rolling Stones famously sang, "You can't always get what you want," but as a fledgling reporter for a small community newspaper, I learned sometimes you get exactly what you think you want—only to discover it comes with unforeseen challenges. With a background in copywriting and years of hockey blogging, my unconventional portfolio caught a local newspaper editor's attention. My first assignment for The Gulf News, which had only recently been acquired by SaltWire, covered truckers inadvertently blocking an access ramp, and unexpectedly catapulted me into the regional spotlight when CBC News picked it up. This moment was bittersweet, highlighting both the impact and controversies of my work.

The challenges I faced became stepping stones. From threats of being "run out of town" for exposing local issues to finding solace in walks with my dog, Gizmo, draped against Newfoundland's rugged beauty, every story and setback taught me the power and importance of local community journalism. These experiences crystallized the vision for Wreckhouse Press into a platform to tell meaningful stories and celebrate our community's spirit and culture.

This journey wasn’t merely about reporting; it involved forging relationships amid local controversies, late-night walks under the Channel Head lighthouse, and finding resilience in adversity. It underscored local journalism’s impact, deeply woven into the community's fabric.

Transitioning from a lone reporter to Wreckhouse Press's co-founder, and now to creating my Newfoundland pet-friendly travel blog, Pen & Paw, my drive remains unchanged. I believe in storytelling's power — be it local scandals, the therapeutic presence of pets, or Newfoundland's landscapes and her people — to connect, challenge, and celebrate our shared experiences.

As Wreckhouse Press evolves more and more into an indie book publishing house and print shop, I can only reflect on this unpredictable journey. What began as a quest for my dream job transformed into a mission to create a platform for witnessing and shaping our community's narrative. With Pen & Paw, I carry forward the lessons from those early days — the courage to tell stories that matter, the resilience to weather storms and the joy found in Newfoundland's peace.

This series for Wreckhouse Press invites you to join me and my co-founder and brother, René J. Roy, as we revisit the milestones and missteps that have shaped our path. From the gritty realities of founding an award-winning indie newspaper and book publishing company, Wreckhouse Press's journey is a testament to how our desires can lead us to true fulfillment.

Stay tuned for more tales from journalism and book publishing trenches, shared from behind the scenes of Wreckhouse Press. Together, we’ll explore the stories that connect us, the challenges that inspire us, and the unity that extends far beyond simple social media posts.

If you choose not to stay with us as we transition away from mostly news content, know that we are thrilled and honoured that you chose to support our Wreckhouse Weekly newspaper and we will remain forever grateful. Now that our little paper is mostly defunct, all we can promise to do is our best to continue to share tidbits and stories, even if it's just a quick roundup of what's going on around the community. If you choose not to linger, then we certainly understand and wish you all the best.

Thank you.


Disclaimer: Some of the links throughout this post and the website are affiliate links (some are also included for your convenience). This means if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, Wreckhouse Press may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help support our website and allow us to continue to create free content. Thank you for your support!

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