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Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa Citizen.svg
CAN OC.jpg

The April 6th, 2009 front page of the Ottawa Citizen
Type Daily
Format Broadsheet
Owner CanWest Global
Publisher James Orban
Editor Gerry Nott
Founded 1845
Political alignment Centre-right
Language English
Headquarters Ottawa, Canada
Circulation 131 220–148 913[1]
ISSN 0839-3222
Official website

The Ottawa Citizen is an English-language daily newspaper owned by CanWest Global in Ottawa, Canada. According to the Canadian Newspaper Association, the paper had a 2008 weekly circulation of 900,197.[2]



Established as The Bytown Packet in 1845 by William Harris, it was renamed the Citizen in 1851. The newspaper's original motto, which has recently been returned to the editorial page, was Fair play and Day-Light.

The paper has been through a number of owners. In 1846, Harris sold the paper to John Bell and Henry J. Friel. Robert Bell bought the paper in 1849. In 1877, Charles Herbert Mackintosh, the editor under Robert Bell, became publisher. In 1879, it became one of several papers owned by the Southam family. It remained under Southam until Southam itself was purchased by Conrad Black's Hollinger Inc.. In 2000, Black sold most of his Canadian holdings to CanWest Global.

The editorial view of the Citizen has varied with its ownership, taking a reform, anti-Tory position under Harris and a conservative position under Bell. Under the Southams, it moved to the left, supporting the Liberals largely in opposition to the Progressive Conservative Party's support of free trade in the late 1980s. Under Black, it moved to the right and became a supporter of the Reform Party. It endorsed the Conservative Party of Canada in the 2006 federal election.

In 2002, its publisher Russell Mills was dismissed following the publication of a story critical of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and an editorial calling for Chrétien's resignation.[3]

In 2004 CBC reported that CanWest which owns the Citizen had changed the wording of Associated Press stories. The words 'insurgent' and 'militant' which were originally used in the AP story were swapped for 'terrorist'. The rest of the story stayed the same. This led to the National Council on Canadian-Arab relations to accuse the Citizen of being pro-Israel and anti-muslim.[4][5]

The logo depicts the top of the Peace Tower of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.



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  1. ^ as of 31 March 2006 [1]
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Fired publisher named Nieman Fellow", Harvard University Gazette. 2002.
  4. ^ "[2]Report biased, Arabs argue CanWest inserts word `terrorist' Groups asking for an inquiry.]"
  5. ^ "Reliving the horror."
  • Adam, Mohamed. (January 2, 2005). "When we began 1845: For 160 years, the Citizen has been the 'heartbeat of the community." Ottawa Citizen
  • Bruce, Charles. News and the Southams. Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1968
  • Kesterton, W.H.. A History of Journalism in Canada. Ottawa, Canada: Carleton University Press, 1984. ISBN 0-88629-022-8.
  • Rutherford, Paul. A Victorian authority: the daily press in late nineteenth-century Canada. Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 1982. ISBN 0-8020-5588-5 DDC 71.1 LCC PN4907

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