Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

New Prince George Citizen owner promises newspaper will be the community watchdog

"I think it’s important that there is actual fact-based journalism that's done and that’s an important role the city has played in our community for over 108 years.”

On the day he took ownership of the Prince George Citizen, Cameron Stolz wanted to make it clear to local bureaucrats and elected officials that he intends to make them accountable for the decisions they make.

He’ll do that by ensuring his news staff are there at those meetings of city council, the regional district and the school board to keep Prince George readers informed by reporting the decisions of government and how they affect local residents.

If that means holding someone’s feet to the fire when they step out of bounds, that’s exactly what Stolz envisions as the purpose of the city’s community newspaper.

Stolz told the story of his aunt noticing that if she stayed in the kitchen the cookies remained in the cookie jar, but as soon as she left the kitchen those cookies somehow began to disappear.

“So it goes to prove if you’re watching something and paying attention to it, that good things come from that, and I think that’s the role that media needs to play, very much more nowadays than it has been in the past,” said the 56-year-old Stolz.

“In a world where social media seems to trend of different stories that are based not on truth or on fact but on supposition and guesses and wild erroneous comments, I think it’s important that there is actual fact-based journalism that's done and that’s an important role the Citizen has played in our community for over 108 years.”

Stolz moved with his family to Prince George when he was six and he grew up in the city. His first job at age 12 was delivering the daily Citizen in his neighbourhood.

For 34 years, he’s owned Great White Toys, Comics and Games and he’s also a partner in local contracting painting business, IC Expert Painting. Stolz was elected for two terms on Prince George city council, from 2008-2014, and ran an unsuccessful bid for a council seat in 2018 and 2022.

Stolz first expressed an interest in buying the paper/website from Glacier Media in October at a time when the Kamloops This Week, Dawson Creek Mirror and Alaska Highway News were being closed permanently. Stolz told reporters at Thursday’s news conference the Citizen lost $56,000 in 2023.

“Last fall, in October, we saw that local media was disappearing off the landscape,” said Stolz. “I was quite concerned about that and concerned it might be happening to the Prince George Citizen next.

“I’m very proud of the work the Prince George Citizen has done over the years, I appreciate that the Citizen sometimes offends half the population and impresses half the population. But they’ve always been in our community and they’re a big part of the history of the city Prince George.”

He admitted he doesn’t expect to turn the paper’s fortunes around overnight and he’s prepared to invest his own money and do whatever it takes to keep producing local news.

“It’s no secret that newspapers don’t make the money they used to,” Stolz said. “I’m not buying the paper as a money-making venture, it’s meant to be giving back to the community. I know I’m going to be contributing towards the costs of the operations at the Citizen and that’s a financial commitment I’m making longterm.”

The purchase of the newspaper, which started publishing in 1916, was announced to Citizen staff Thursday morning.

“It really provides a great opportunity going forward, local ownership is exactly what a paper like the Prince George Citizen needs at this time in the evolution of our industry,” said Peter Kvarnstrom, Glacier Media’s president of community media.

“We need our community to roll up its sleeves and get involved in our papers and I think with local ownership that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

“Cameron Stolz is a terrific, successful local business person who has taken this paper on for all the right reasons. He truly wants to build a stronger, more resilient community and make sure the newspaper and the media has a role in that. He’s the right person at the right time.”