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Matawatchan and Griffith Ontario, the birthplace of the Madawaska Highlander, has had a surprisingly long tradition of print publishing. In the mid to late 1980s there was a locally distributed newsletter called The Communicator published by Mark Thomson's mother, Elizabeth Thomson. In the 1990s until 2003 another newsletter / newspaper publication called The Highlander was in circulation. Its distribution expanded to include Griffith and Denbigh in addition to Matawatchan. Then, in December 2003 The Madawaska Highlander was first published. Very soon its circulation grew to include the entire township of Greater Madawaska and beyond.

The circulation has grown from about 600 with the first issue in December 2003, to 3,000 copies in 2012 and about 6,700 from 2016 - 2019. The pandemic sadly saw a sharp decline in advertisers, and circulation varied between 4,000 and 5,000 per issue, now fully recovered to former numbers, averaging 6,000 copies depending on the time of year.


Anecdotal evidence suggests that each paper gets an average of three exposures and is read cover to cover. That’s a lot of readers! Many people keep issues for later reference and to share them with visitors.

The Madawaska Highlander will remain paper-based, but access to all back copies of the Highlander will reside on this website.            



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