The Ottawa Citizen is an English-language daily newspaper owned by Postmedia Network in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. According to the Canadian Newspaper Association, the paper had a 2008 weekly circulation of 900,197.
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 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.
In mid-June 2012 the Citizen went from offering free access online of content to requiring a paid subscription.
It published its last Sunday edition on July 15, 2012. The move cut 20 newsroom jobs, and was part of a series of cuts by PostMedia.
The logo used to depict the top of the Peace Tower of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. In 2014 it was rebranded, with a new logo showing the paper's name over an outline of the Peace Tower on a green background.