The Winnipeg Free Press
is a daily (excluding Sunday) broadsheet
Broadsheet is the largest of the various newspaper formats and is characterized by long vertical pages . The term derives from types of popular prints usually just of a single sheet, sold on the streets and containing various types of material, from ballads to political satire. The first broadsheet...
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...
Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, and is the primary municipality of the Winnipeg Capital Region, with more than half of Manitoba's population. It is located near the longitudinal centre of North America, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers .The name...
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...
. Founded in 1872, as the Manitoba Free Press, it is the oldest newspaper in western Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...
. It is the newspaper with the largest readership in the province.
The Free Press
is regarded as the newspaper of record
Newspaper of record is a term that may refer either to any publicly available newspaper that has been authorized by a government to publish public or legal notices , or any major newspaper that has a large circulation and whose editorial and news-gathering functions are considered professional and...
for Winnipeg and Manitoba. It also provides coverage of national, international, sports, business, and entertainment news. Various consumer-oriented features such as homes and automobiles appear on a weekly basis. The newspaper's main competition is the Winnipeg Sun
The Winnipeg Sun is a daily tabloid-sized newspaper in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.It is owned by Sun Media, a subsidiary of Quebecor Media, and shares many characteristics typical of Sun Media tabloids, including an emphasis on local news stories, extensive sports coverage, a Canadian conservatism...
, a print daily newspaper.
The Manitoba Free Press
was launched November 30, 1872, by William Fisher Luxton and John A. Kenny. Luxton bought a press in New York and they rented a shack at 555 Main Street, near the present Main and James Street corner.
The Free Press
is a newspaper of liberal orientation. Its motto was and remains "Freedom of Trade, Liberty of Religion, and Equality of Civil Rights." It became a leading daily and its sister weekly, the Prairie Farmer,
became the most widely circulated farm weekly in Canada. Of 20 newspapers that started in Manitoba between 1859 and 1890, only the Free Press
In 1874 the enterprise moved to a new building on Main opposite St. Mary Avenue. In 1882 it moved to a building on McDermot Avenue east of Main Street, stayed there until 1900, and then moved to a new address on McDermot and Albert Street. Because of its growth it moved in 1905 to a four-storey building at Portage and Garry. In 1913 the paper occupied the building at 300 Carlton St. and remained there for 78 years, becoming known as the old lady of Carlton Street. In 1991 the Free Press
moved to its present location at 1355 Mountain Avenue in the Inkster Industrial Park.
About 1892, control of the Free Press
passed to Clifford Sifton. From 1901 to 1944, John Wesley Dafoe served as editorial writer, editor-in-chief and president, earning a reputation as one of Canada's leading journalists. Dafoe fought for Western issues such as breaking the C.P.R.'s monopoly in the Prairies and lower freight rates. He actively promoted Dominion status and autonomy for Canada. In 1931 the name of the Manitoba Free Press
became the Winnipeg Free Press.
For much of the 20th century, the paper's main competition was the Winnipeg Tribune
The Winnipeg Tribune was a metropolitan daily newspaper serving Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada from January 28, 1890 to August 27, 1980. The paper was founded by R.L. Richardson and D.L. McIntyre who acquired the press and premises of the old Winnipeg Sun newspaper. It was often viewed as a liberal...
, a broadsheet that opened in January 1890 and was shut down by its then owner, the Southam
Postmedia News is a national news agency with correspondents in Canada, Europe, and the United States and is part of the Canadian newspaper chain owned by Postmedia Network Inc.-History:...
chain, in August 1980.
The parent company of the paper, F.P. Publications, began buying other newspapers. By the late 1970s, its holdings, which included Ottawa Journal
The Ottawa Journal was a daily broadsheet newspaper published in Ottawa, Ontario from 1885 to 1980.It was founded in 1885 by A. Woodburn as the Ottawa Evening Journal. Its first editor was John Wesley Dafoe who came from the Winnipeg Free Press. In 1886, it was bought by Philip Dansken Ross.The...
, The Vancouver Sun
The Vancouver Sun is a daily newspaper first published in the Canadian province of British Columbia on February 12, 1912. The paper is currently published by the Pacific Newspaper Group, a division of Postmedia Network. It is published six days a week, Monday to Saturday...
, and The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail is a nationally distributed Canadian newspaper, based in Toronto and printed in six cities across the country. With a weekly readership of approximately 1 million, it is Canada's largest-circulation national newspaper and second-largest daily newspaper after the Toronto Star...
, made it one of the largest publishers in Canada.
In 1979 F.P. Publications was purchased by the Thomson Corporation's
The Thomson Corporation was one of the world's largest information companies.Thomson was active in financial services, healthcare sectors, law, science & technology research, and tax & accounting sectors...
stable of Canadian newspapers. It was acquired from Thomson in 2001 by FP Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership, which also owns the Brandon Sun
The Brandon Sun is a daily newspaper printed in Brandon, Manitoba. It is the primary newspaper of record for western Manitoba.It was founded by Will White, with the first edition being printed on January 19, 1882....
As of November 1, 2009, the paper ceased publishing a regular Sunday edition. In its place, a Sunday-only tabloid called On 7
was launched. It is available for purchase only from vending boxes and retailers. On March 27, 2011, the Sunday newspaper was retooled as a broadsheet format called Winnipeg Free Press SundayXtra
, due to the impending arrival of Metro
Metro International is a Swedish media company based in Luxembourg that publishes the Metro newspapers. Metro International's advertising sales have grown at a compound annual growth rate of 41% since launch of the first newspaper edition in 1995. It is a freesheet, meaning that distribution is...
in the Winnipeg market.
According to Canadian Newspaper Association
The Canadian Newspaper Association is the national organization of daily newspapers in Canada, founded in 1996. It is a non-profit trade association and lobby organization, which represents more than 100 Canadian English and French newspapers...
figures, the newspaper's average weekday circulation for the 6 month period preceding March 31, 2006 was 119,082. This figure was 161,925 on Saturdays, and 114,966 on Sundays.
2008 Winnipeg Free Press Strike
At noon on Monday, October 14 (Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day , occurring on the second Monday in October , is an annual Canadian holiday to give thanks at the close of the harvest season....
), 1,100 employees went on strike at 1355 Mountain Ave. The strike ended 16 days later, on Wednesday, October 30, with the paper resuming publication the following day, Thursday, October 31.
Free Press Archive
Various databases exist that provide past editions of the Free Press:
- ProQuest — May 1, 2006–current (full text), 1981–April 30, 2006 (index only)
- Fpinformart.ca — May 21, 2002–present.
- NewspaperArchive.com — 1874–1981 - (newspaper image)
Microfilm copies are also available at the Manitoba Provincial Legislative Library.