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QCNA CONNECTOR www. qcna.org

The Official Publication of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association

March 2012

Quebec Community Newspapers Association

Better Newspaper Competition Awards Gala &

32nd Annual General Meeting happening on board

Les Croisières AML, ‘Le Cavalier Maxim’

located at King Edward Pier, Old Port of Montreal, 1, rue de la Commune Montreal, Quebec H2Y 4B2

FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2012 Your invitation was emailed to you March 30 More Conference Info on Page 7 ... Shortlist on Page 6 What’s Inside Cover Page ............................................................... Page 1 ED Report ................................................................. Page 2 QCNA Happenings ................................................... Page 3 Industry News ........................................................... Page 4 Watching for Reporters in Western Quebec .............. Page 5

QCNA’s BNC Shortlist ............................................................ Page 6 QCNA’s AGM & Awards Gala Info ......................................... Page 7 Int’l Magazine Recognizes Work of Pontiac Journalist ........... Page 8 Kevin Slimp - Are There Successful Papers Out There? .......... Page 9 Watching for Reporters ... Continued ....................................... Page 10


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QCNA Connector

Community newspapers

The ED Report

by Richard Tardif Executive Director

an important social avenue

‘Community journalism assumes its value in finding ways to connect people—by identifying passions and concerns they share, linking neighbor to neighbor, and motivating people to act.’ David Joyner, 2011

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March 2012

was like many journalists. My goal was to become a superstar at a daily newspaper and go head-tohead with society’s large concerns, and hopefully enact change. My words, I hoped, would lead to social change and I could say I made a difference. Then something unexpected happened. I walked into a community newspaper and became a community journalist, and my words made a difference, one issue at a time. Go figure! My missing a deadline drove that point home. A local peewee hockey team won a trip to a provincial tournament, and what was special about it was it was the first time in the team’s 30-year history. With an hour to write my story, I dashed back to the office – no lap tops at this paper back then- and wrote my story. It was one minute past midnight. Satisfied that the parents and coaches and players would read such a great story, I went home and woke up early. There at my door was the newspaper. Flipping through to the sports section I was excited. No other team in the

community had ever reached the provincial championships, and I had the story. So I thought! There was no story about the first hockey team in the community’s history heading off to the provincial championships. Why? My editor told me I was one minute late on my deadline. The paper that morning received over 500 calls. I had to explain to the team, the coaches and the parents

community newspaper? After a month of being reminded about deadlines, I would say everyone. In fact, the gentle and fun loving ribbing from readers became something we had in common. Isn’t that what community reporting is about? Somehow, what is read – or not read – in the local paper, is a community’s common denominator, and keeps people connected. And what really has changed with my new position? It is my role to keep all our members connected. As far and wide as we are across Quebec, it is a challenging task, and one that is important. This month I travelled to visit some of our members in West Quebec. As you will see in this issue of the Connector, the visit was the first the QCNA had undertaken in many years. Ahead for the QCNA is our Annual General Meeting.  On May 18 we will be on board ‘Le Cavalier Maxim.’ One of the most popular events at that time is our Award Gala. This year’s list of nominees reveals some familiar names, and some new names. Our members are fostering some real bright English journalists, and it is evident with this year’s shortlist.  These are exciting times at the QCNA. It is a new beginning with new challenges and new adventures, and I for one am happy to be here. 

“Isn’t that what community reporting is about? Somehow, what is read – or not read – in the local paper, is a community’s common denominator, and keeps people connected.” why the story did not run. Well, we had no website, so a quick upload was out of the question. Luckily, the championships were two weeks away, and I wrote the story again but for the following week. But for the next month, parents, coaches and players were telling me the time, and the team even bought me a wristwatch.  And at every coffee shop, gas station, and restaurant, “Hey Rich, you got the time?” So now you know that your new executive director missed a deadline – my first and last time, but the question begs to be asked. Who reads a


QCNA Connector

March 2012

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QCNA happenings QCNA Welcomes New Executive Director QCNA is happy to announce the appointment of Richard Tardif as the association’s new Executive Director effective February 13, 2012. Many of you may be familiar with Richard who since 2006 has been a community reporter and assistant editor at The Eastern Door in Kahnawake, Quebec. An award winning journalist, beat reporter, photographer and former publisher and editor of the magazine Montreal Hype, Richard’s career in journalism began in 1994 at The Concordian covering the student uprising over the Quebec’s plan to increase university tuition fees. In 1996 he began a thriving freelance career specializing in environmental issues, political and business affairs. Living in Montreal, Richard studied business, environmental science and journalism at Concordia University. In 1986, Richard co-founded the Lachine Community Youth Program and was later named as the Executive Director under the renamed non-profit youth program in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. President Heather Dickson is happy to welcome Richard to the QCNA and to lead the QCNA into the future. “Our 30 members are excited to see a new leader with such a wealth of newspaper, business and worldly experience as the new executive director of our organization.” Your Local Journal’s Journalist, Céline Pilon, Moves On Céline Pilon, formerly the French-

language columnist and journalist with Your Local Journal and a QCNA award winner, has moved on to start a new stage in her career as assistant to Vaudreuil MNA, Yvon Marcoux at his riding office. Best wishes from QCNA, Céline! Well Wishes to Jack Burger, Publisher of Main Street QCNA wishes Jack Burger all the best as he spends some well deserved time resting up recuperating from cancer surgery. Jack wrote a moving editorial in February’s Main Street explaining his situation and he thanked his wife, Sue, business partner, Steve Brecher, and his staff for all their support during this difficult time. New Art & Design Director at Main Street Anne Secor joined the Main Street team in January as its new full-time Art & Design Director. Anne has held similar positions with Estee Lauder and Martha Stewart Living in New York City. She resides in Morin Heights with her husband, Steve, and their two children. Anne has taken on much of the previous workload of publisher, Jack Burger, who is currently recuperating. Staff Changes at The Townships Sun Publisher is Doug Beattie, with Nancy Beattie at the Editorial Board; Rod Leggett is its editor; Marion Greenlay, Accounting and Office Management; Jennifer Brown, Advertising & Community Manager; and Adam Budd in Graphic Design. Anniversary celebrations in 2012 Happy 20th to The Eastern Door as it celebrates 20 years serving the Mohawk community in Kahnawake,

Quebec. Happy 30th to Pontiac Journal du Pontiac as it celebrates 30 years serving the Pontiac region of Quebec. Speaking of anniversaries, The Gleaner, serving the Huntingdon area, will be celebrating a big one next year in 2013 – its 150th. Plans are already underway at The Gleaner to produce a special section as well as other community events. Some QCNA Centenarian member newspapers The Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph is one of the oldest newspapers in North America – definitely more than 100 years old established in 1764. The Equity has been around since 1883. The Gleaner was founded in 1863. The Record is 115 years old this year – established in 1897.

QCNA’s BNC Awards Contest Update

As members participated in this year’s awards competiton uploading and entering pdfs online, QCNA staffers were available to lend a hand with any questions or problems encountered by members. Feedback from members found that they once again this year enjoyed the online process for entering their 2011 entries, and the 27 judges from various provinces across Canada loved the online system, too. In all, QCNA received just under 500 entries in 32 categories from 19 member newspapers. The shortlist of the three finalists in each category is available on page 6 and at QCNA’s website.


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QCNA Connector

Industry Highlights Newspapers Canada’s ‘Ink & Beyond’ Conference Happening April 26 – 27, 2012

Newspapers Canada annual ‘Ink & Beyond’ conference will be happening next month, April 26 - 27, at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto. Newspapers Canada is teaming up with the Ontario Community Newspapers Association (OCNA), the Canadian Circulation Management Association (CCMA) and the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ). CAJ’s conference continues April 27 – 29. This week-long series of events includes speaker presentations, awards galas, networking events and more. Click on INK & BEYOND for more info. Two QCNA newspapers were nominated as finalists in the Canadian Community Newspapers Awards - The Eastern Door, in the Best Editorial Page category (circulation 1,250 – 1,999) and The Suburban in the Best Coverage of the Arts (circulation 10,00 and over).

QCGN On The Move

Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) moved to its new quarters last month, and is now located at 1819 René-Lévesque West, Suite 400, Montreal, QC, H3H 2P7. Phone number remains the same – 514-8689049.

QCGN AGM & Members Convention

Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) will be holding its annual general meeting and members’ convention June 15 - 16, 2012.

APF Annual Conference

Association de la Presse Francophone (APF) will be holding its annual conference and awards ceremony in Stanhope, PEI, July 5 – 7, 2012. Stanhope is 15 minutes from Charlottetown.

New Industry Ad Campaign for use by newspapers

Newspapers Canada is excited to launch its new print and online advertising campaign for your newspaper’s use. Recently, Newspapers Canada began advertising in media trade publications including Marketing, Strategy Media in Canada and Infopresse in both their print and e-newsletter publications. The same campaign is now available for newspapers to use in their publications. The goal of the campaign is to highlight that our readership is very strong in a positive and upbeat way to potential advertisers. The campaign currently has the Newspapers Canada logo on it. Newspapers are welcome to add their own logo to these executions as well. READ MORE>>

ISWNE 2012 Conference Bellingham, Washington June 26 – 30, 2012

Each summer, the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors (ISWNE) holds a conference that is intended to provide an intellectually broadening experience for editors. Discussions include matters of importance anywhere in the world, with speakers who are experts in their fields. There is also a lot of critical give-and-take as members critique each other’s editorial pages. The 2012 conference will take place in

Bellingham, Washington from June 26 – 30, 2012. And their 2013 conference will be held in Calgary, Alberta. Click on ISWNE more info.

Upcoming Webinars of Interest

Newspapers Canada is offering the following upcoming webinars: Tuesday, April 17 – Design: Multimedia NNA Finalists (free) Tuesday, April 24 – Editorial: Better Beat Reporting Tuesday, June 26 – Sales : Newspapers: Newspaper Innovation (free) Click on WEBINARS for registration information and more including information on archived webinars.

Industry sees strong digital growth in 2012

Canadian newspapers have trimmed back their growth expectations for 2012, with the exception of one area – digital. In its sixth annual ‘Preview 2012’ study for North American newspapers, KubasPrimedia reveals pessimism for ad revenues, but optimism for digital growth, with 53 percent of respondents foreseeing large increases. The study indicates that in 2012, about 70 percent of newspapers are planning to start or improve delivery of content to mobile devices, as well as upgrading their online sites. Newspapers also indicated that they plan to reduce or control staff costs, seek to gain revenue from online content, and start a new niche product. Between 65 and 70 percent of respondents have definite plans to expand email, mobile or e-reader digital advertising to improve website advertising programs and options and to upgrade digital sales capabilities. Other goals for 2012 include upgrading print sales capabilities and improving ad pricing and rate structures. Preview 2012 is based on responses from 436 executives and managers from Canadian and US newspapers ranging in size from less than 25,000 circulation to more than 100,000.


QCNA Connector

March 2012

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Watching for reporters in Western Quebec and spring tires By Richard Tardif Executive Director

D

uring a recent visit to several member papers located in Western Quebec, I was amazed at how “up there” some of our members are located and how well they serve their communities. Once you leave Ottawa, Ontario and cross over the Ottawa River you find yourself in a pleasant community called Aylmer, and I would be returning to the community and for me, it was the gateway to two of our five western Quebec newspaper members in Shawville and further north in Fort-Coulonge, the Pontiac Journal du Pontiac. As the miles piled up and the population thinned, I couldn’t help but see the deer crossing warnings, but in my mind I was thinking, “reporter crossing warnings.” Now I am not comparing our reporters to any White Tailed or Moose Tailed Cervideas, as cute as those four-legged animals are, but it just seemed that to be a reporter in the Western Quebec region you have to cross over different territories and cover vast areas to get to a story. “We do cover a large territory up here,” said Nancy Hunt, editor of the Pontiac Journal du Pontiac. “We have different stringers in different communities who we can call,” she said from her office Photo by Richard Tardif Pontiac Journal du in Fort-Coulonge, Pontiac editor, a village of 1900 Nancy Hunt residents located in the Pontiac Regional County Municipality. The Journal covers 16 communities distributing over 9,000 copies bi-weekly.

Photo by David-Lawrence Dumesnil

Bulletin d’Aylmer and West Quebec Post team were thrilled with visit of Quebec Community Newspapers Association (QCNA) executive director Richard Tardif, on March 28. Pictured from left to right: Jennifer Hill, Advertising Sales Consultant; Lily Ryan, Post Editor and Bulletin Managing Editor; Richard Tardif, QCNA Executive Director; Nadia Paradis, Classifieds Manager and Receptionist; Tania Baker, Graphic Designer; Sophie Ryan, Advertising Sales Manager; Charles Viau; Production Manager; Gabrielle Latrémouille, Graphic Designer; Alison Gerow, Administrative Manager; Roxanne Tessier, Sales and Production Assistant. (Publisher Fred Ryan and General Manager Lynne Lavery were out of the office for the photo).

Covering such a larger territory makes one wonder how they do it. That is just the thing about community papers – they get the job done, and reach their members every two weeks. In Shawville, 41 kilometers south

Photo by Richard Tardif

Andrea Cranfield, Editor of The Equity

of Fort-Coulonge, The Equity covers 15 communities in the Pontiac region in western Quebec. The voice of the Pontiac region since 1883, Equity

editor Andrea Cranfield along with two reporters, one an intern on a sixweek stay over, also finds ways to get the job done. Reporter Julielee Stitt from nearby Litchfield, Quebec, a graduate of Carleton University, was busy getting the goods on a halfmillion dollar digital upgrade of the local truck weigh-in station. Returning to Aylmer, 65 kilometers south of Shawville, the QCNA has two English newspaper members: the Bulletin d’Aylmer and The West Quebec Post, the sister papers of the Pontiac Journal du Pontiac. The Bulletin d’Aylmer serves the bilingual Aylmer sector of Gatineau, Quebec, publishing almost 22,000 copies each week. Its sister paper, The West continued on page 10


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March 2012

QCNA Connector

QCNA’s Better Newspaper Competition Shortlist 2011 Finalists - Congratulations to Everyone!

BEST OVERALL NEWSPAPER AWARDS Al Best Overall Newspaper (14 entries) The Eastern Door The Nation The Suburban Honourable Mention: The Canadian Jewish News

B4 Best Investigative or In-Depth Reporting (20 entries) Bonspiel, Steve - The Eastern Door Greenway, Trevor - The Low Down To Hull & Back News Murray, Julie & Ryan, Lily - The West Quebec Post

A2 Best Front Page (14 entries) The Eastern Door The Equity The Low Down to Hull & Back News

B5 Best Sports Story (13 entries) Fabio, Carmen Marie – The Chronicle Lemieux, François – The Chronicle Lidbetter, Mark – The Suburban

A3 Best Editorial Page (10 entries) The Chronicle The Gleaner Pontiac Journal du Pontiac

B6 Best Arts and Entertainment Story (21 entries) Coulombe, Pierre - The Nation Greenway, Trevor - The Low Down To Hull & Back

A4 Best Feature Page (11 entries) The Gleaner The Low Down To Hull & Back News Pontiac Journal du Pontiac A5 Best Sports Page(s) (7 entries) The Chronicle The Eastern Door The Suburban A6 Best Special Section (13 entries) Bulletin d’Aylmer The Canadian Jewish News The Chronicle A7 Best Community Newspaper Promotion (4 entries) The Eastern Door The Gleaner The Suburban A8 Best Ad (14 entries) The Nation The Suburban The West Quebec Post A9 Best Website (8 entries) The Canadian Jewish News The Laval News Nunatsiaq News WRITERS’ AWARDS B1 Best News Story (26 entries) Bell, Jim - Nunatsiaq News Saldanha, Adrian - Westmount Examiner Scholey, Lucy - The Low Down To Hull & Back News B2 Best Feature Story (29 entries) German, Amy – The Nation Greenway, Trevor – The Low Down To Hull & Back News

Scholey, Lucy – The Low Down To Hull & Back News B3 Best Business Story (18 entries) Greenway, Trevor – The Low Down To Hull & Back News Ryan, Lily – Bulletin d’Aylmer Tardif, Richard – The Eastern Door

News

Nobel, Justin - Nunatsiaq News B7 Best Column Writing (21 entries) Baxter, Sara E. – Your Local Journal Shawcross, Sylvia – The West Quebec Post Stewart, Lyle – The Nation B8 Best Business Column or Feature (10 entries) Bell, Jim – Nunatsiaq News Greenway, Trevor – The Low Down To Hull & Back

News

Stitt, Julielee – The Equity B9 Best Editorial (local affairs) (21 entries) Bell, Jim – Nunatsiaq News Lahtinen, Martti - The Low Down To Hull & Back News Ryan, Fred – Bulletin d’Aylmer B10 Bob Phillips Award - Best Editorial (general) (21 entries) Baxter, Sara E. – Your Local Journal Bell, Jim – Nunatsiaq News Wajsman, Beryl – The Suburban B11 Best Headline Writing (8 entries) Fabio, Carmen Marie – The Chronicle Low Down Staff – The Low Down To Hull & Back News Stitt, Julielee – The Equity B12 Best French-language News Story (6 entries) Dumesnil, David-Lawrence – Bulletin d’Aylmer Mercier, Fabienne – Park Extension News Pilon, Céline – Your Local Journal B13 Best French-language Editorial / Column (6 entries) Gagné, Thomas – Bulletin d’Aylmer Macron, André – Pontiac Journal du Pontiac Pilon, Céline – Your Local Journal B14 Best Education Story (17 entries) Greenway, Trevor – The Low Down To Hull & Back News Rogers, Sarah – Nunatsiaq News Scholey, Lucy – The Low Down To Hull & Back News

B15 Best Agricultural Story (14 entries) Closs, Meredith – Quebec Farmers’ Advocate McClelland, Andrew – Quebec Farmers’ Advocate Stewart, April – Quebec Farmers’ Advocate B16 Best Environmental Story (17 entries) Cranfield, Andrea – The Equity Halm, Amanda – Québec Chronicle-Telegraph Tardif, Richard – The Eastern Door B17 Best Municipal / Civic Affairs Story (17 entries) Bonspiel, Steve – The Eastern Door Faure, Elisabeth – Westmount Examiner Scholey, Lucy – The Low Down To Hull & Back News B18 Best Community Health Story (15 entries) Bonaparte, Anthony – The Suburban Rogers, Sarah – Nunatsiaq News Stitt, Julielee – The Equity PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS B19 Best News Photo (16 entries) Greenway, Trevor - The Low Down To Hull & Back

News

Soong, Andrew - The Suburban Tardif, Richard - The Eastern Door B20 Best Feature Photo (17 entries) Braul, Peter - Westmount Examiner Sachs, Danielle - The Equity Taussig, Rob - The Suburban Honourable Mention: Ourga, Yen - The Equity B21 Best Sports Photo (14 entries) Sachs, Danielle – The Equity Soong, Andrew – The Suburban Tardif, Richard – The Eastern Door B22 Best Photo Essay (14 entries) George, Jane – Nunatsiaq News Sher, Andy – The Chronicle Soong, Andrew & Cross, Karen – The Suburban BEST EDITORIAL CARTOON B23 Best Editorial Cartoon (4 entries) Bonaparte, Anthony (Napoleon) – The Suburban Elie, Pascal –Westmount Examiner Roach, Stan – The Chronicle

Two QCNA Newspapers Pick Up CCNA Awards Congratulations to The Easterm Door for its win in the ‘Best Editorial Page’ category - (circulation 1,250 - 1,999) and to The Suburban for its win in the ‘Best Coverage of the Arts’ category (circulation 10,000 and over) in CCNA’s annual awards competition.


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March 2012

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QCNA AGM and Awards Gala Info

Q

CNA’s 32nd annual general meeting, awards gala and banquet will take place on Friday, May 18, 2012, on board Les Croisières AML, ‘Le Cavalier Maxim,’ located at the King Edward Pier, Old Port of Montreal, 1 rue du Commune, Montreal.

Annual General Meeting

This year’s event includes the 32nd Annual General Meeting on board ‘Le Cavalier Maxim,’ Deck B - La Petite Vallière. Please board at 3:45 p.m. for the 4 p.m. Annual General Meeting.

Awards Gala & Banquet

The evening cruise will include cocktail reception starting at 6 p.m. SHARP dockside on the upper Deck D. A great time to meet and greet and mingle with fellow members. In case of inclement weather, the cocktail reception will be held on Deck C, ‘La Grande Verrière.’ The cruise boat will depart from the dock at 7 p.m. SHARP where guests can enjoy a delicious banquet meal while cruising down the St. Lawrence River with beautiful views of the Montreal skyline on Deck C, ‘La Grande Verrière.’ The awards gala will take place while dessert and coffee are being served, celebrating the best of the best. There is onboard entertainment with music and dancing. The evening will come to a close at 11 p.m. when ‘Le Cavalier Maxim’ returns to port.

Special Guest EmCee

Lauren McCallum - CBC Broadcaster - will emcee QCNA’s awards gala. Lauren McCallum began her career at the CBC shortly before the Quebec referendum on sovereignty in 1995. She has covered nearly every municipal, provincial and federal election since then.  Lauren grew up in Montreal, and has a real grasp on the issues that affect people in Quebec. Lauren also covered major stories such as the 1998 Ice Storm, the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, the biker wars and organized crime, the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Australia, the Summer Olympics in Beijing 2008. She also co-ordinated coverage of the Dawson shootings in 2006.  Lauren has a Broadcast Journalism degree from Concordia University in Montreal. She can sometimes be heard reporting on national issues, or reading the CBC Radio news. Lauren loves hockey, aquatics, playing guitar and food.

Accommodations

A block of rooms is available at Le Nouvel Hotel & Spa at a rate of $110 per night single/double occupancy until April 17. Be sure to mention

QCNA. Book your hotel reservation by calling toll-free 1-800-363-6063.

Invitation & Registration

Your invitation has been sent to you via email. The complete registration / invitation package is also available at QCNA’s website. Be sure to fax your completed registration form by the April 17 deadline to the QCNA office at 514453-6330.

Map / Directions to Croisières

AML, King Edward Pier, Old Port of Montreal. Click on MAP/DIRECTIONS

Other Info

Les Croisières AML is easily accessible by metro or bus (closest Metro station – Place d’Armes). There is pay parking at the pier adjacent to Les Croisières AML. IMAX Theatre is at the same pier. You may wish to bring a jacket or sweater for use when on upper or outside decks. The Old Port of Montreal is approximately a 5 to 10-minute drive from Le Nouvel Hotel & Spa. Check out the QCNA website for updates.

BRING CASH for Door Prize Tickets and Cash Bar! Looking forward to seeing you there!


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March 2012

QCNA Connector

International magazine highlights the work of Pontiac Journal reporter and the Pontiac By Andrew Nicoll BRYSON – Denis Rozon, owner of Timberland Tours, Bristol, was the host and coordinator of the second annual Canadian Championship Dryland Dog Races this past November. Louise St. Laurent covered the event both times as a freelance photojournalist for the Pontiac Journal du Pontiac. This year, Rozon asked St. Laurent to also cover the race for a magazine called Dog & Driver. Little did St. Laurent know, ‘cover’ turned out to be the front and back covers, plus three glossy pages of fullcolour photographs, and four pages of English and French-language text, to her credit, in the November issue of the official publication of the International Sled Dog Racing Association. “Just before Christmas I got an email from a woman in the United States, complimenting me on the cover photo,” said St. Laurent from her home (photo). “She wanted an original copy of the photo to be used in a video for the dog trainer, whose dogs were on the cover.” It’s a shot of Jan Bootz Dittmar in the 6-dog cart class race, rounding a curve at Timberland. “I was surprised,” continued St. Laurent, “because I hadn’t heard anything from the magazine [publishers] since I’d sent them my material.” She found out the cover was on a Facebook page. “I just said, ‘Wow! What an honour!’ and I printed the page and started bragging to family and friends,” laughed St. Laurent. It wasn’t until January she received two copies of the 48-page magazine. The bragging rights were well earned, as St. Laurent made countless hours of interview tapes and notes and took over 1,000 photos. She and Rozon narrowed the photo selection down to 15, ten of which were published in Dog & Driver, along with several from Marc Laframboise of Pontiac (Quyon). With

Louise St. Laurent, freelance photographer with the Pontiac Journal du Pontiac, outside her home in Bristol, holding ‘Dog & Driver’ magazine where her photographs were featured.

only a few days to get the story written and the photos processed with the correct captions, she received help from Pierre Lambert, the chief timekeeper at the races, who is also a journalist. Veteran racers are quoted in the article describing the races in Bristol as “a great event made even better”. There were glowing compliments for the attention to details, superb track, volunteer efforts and donations from the wider Pontiac community, and predictions that the site

is of the calibre to soon host the World Championship Dryland Races. “I was honoured to do this not only for Denis and myself, but also for the Pontiac,” said St. Laurent of the opportunity. Dog & Driver, now in its 43rd year, is edited from Alaska and published out of Minnesota. Story and photo submitted by Pontiac Journal du Pontiac editor, Nancy Hunt


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Are There Successful Papers Out There? You bet. And the news guru has something to say about them. Kevin Slimp Institute of Newspaper Technology kevin@kevinslimp.com

I

’ve had an interesting couple of weeks. For the first time, I was invited to speak at the Michigan Press Association’s convention in Grand Rapids. I never know what to expect when I’m with a new group. Will the group be somber and quiet or will the attendees be lively and responsive? My worries were relieved after just a few minutes. Publishers who arrived early waited to tell me how excited they were to hear what I had to say about our industry’s future. Others came by while I was setting up to tell me how much they enjoy reading my columns. With ample ego strokes, I presented two topics on Friday, related to online revenue and customer service, then went on to set up for a morning keynote on Saturday. The president of the association came by to say “hi” and to let me know I shouldn’t

be disappointed in the turnout. “It’s always a light crowd on Saturday morning,” he said. “No problem,” I responded, “I never expect a crowd on Saturday morning at 8:00.” The room was substantial and had seats arranged in eight or ten rows, maybe 20 to 25 chairs in a row. It was a wide room, but not very deep. I figured maybe 30 people would show up and I’d speak in front of an empty room. Just as happened in Kentucky the week before, when dozens of chairs had to be added, the room began to fill and before I knew it, all the seats were taken. The topic was “What I’ve learned this year from successful newspapers.” I talked about papers I had visited in Ontario, Kentucky, Tennessee, Minnesota and points all over the map. I shared some of the commonalities among these papers. Things like: - Investment in staff, training and equipment - Trust between staff, publishers and other managers - Keeping staff in place, whenever possible

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The audience laughed out loud when I told of some of the things I had seen at newspapers and wrote furiously as I shared advice as they plan for the future. When the Michigan keynote ended, a line formed. One publisher after another wanted to talk about their situations. College students (there were probably 30 or 40 in attendance) asked me for advice concerning their futures. Finally, after visiting with at least two dozen folks, the line was gone. From my left appeared a man who asked if he could speak with me. He shared that he published a newspaper in the state and was already making plans to cease his printed newspaper and go with an online version. “I’ve got to tell you,” he said. “You may have changed my mind.” Like thousands of other publishers, he’s heard the reports of gloom and doom. And like some others, he was ready to accept his newspaper’s fate. It’s not my job to talk people into anything. I just present the facts and share what I see at newspapers all over North America. I’m constantly amazed that anyone has any interest in hearing anything I have to say. It surprises me even more when I hear from publishers that tell me they’ve changed their future plans after reading or hearing what I think. Iowa was more of the same the week after Michigan. Another convention. More chairs had to be added to the already large room. That was three weeks in a row. Next up are conventions in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Kansas and back to Iowa. We keep hearing that our industry is at a crossroads. Coming to a crossroad doesn’t mean it’s best to take a hard right or hard left turn. Sometimes you move ahead. Let me suggest that for most of us, it’s time to move ahead. Sure, you’ll pick up some new tools along the way. But the introduction of mobile media, social media and competing sources for news doesn’t mean that newspapers are outdated or history. Be careful when you come to that crossroad. Straight ahead might be the best route for your newspaper.


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QCNA Connector

Watching for reporters in Western Quebec and spring tires continued from page 5 Quebec Post (located in the same headquarters as the Bulletin d’Aylmer) publishes 10,000 copies each week. Located on the Ottawa River and Route 148, Aylmer is a part of the National Capital Region, with a population growing near the 45,000 mark, with 32 percent of its population English speaking. From Hull, Quebec to Wakefield, Quebec along the Gatineau River if you wanted the low down, you read the appropriately named The Low Down To Hull & Back News. However, you have to be on your toes! The Low Down reporters, Trevor Greenway and Lucy Scholey pulled a fast one on me, and I suspect on the tiny community of Wakefield, where the paper is located. It seems the newspaper broke the news that the Quebec government wanted to enforce spring tires as a way to make the transition from winter tires to summer tires. April Fools! One resident that evening admitted he was fooled. Well, my friend from Wakefield, so was I. The Low Down covers seven communities, but none of their readers are fooled about the construction of the A5 highway extension project near the Wakefield village. At stake are 88

Photo by Richard Tardif

Low Down reporters Lucy Scholey and Trevor Greenway of the Low Down to Hull & Back News duke it out over who gets the front page. Both reporters were nominated in multi-award categories in the 2011 Quebec Community Newspapers Association. The award gala will take place on May 18, 2012 in Montreal. 

acres of pristine old growth forest and underground aquifers reported by environmental reports to be at risk of contamination from rock blasting. The Low Down To Hull & Back News has been on top of the story. The A5 extension was approved in February of 2012 and when completed will run from Chelsea, an area covered by the Low Down, to Farm Point, through some 75 acres of Gatineau Park.

On average, these young and dedicated reporters at our Western Quebec newspapers file 10-12 community articles each week. The hours are long and often come with few days off. Behind the reporters are dedicated layout and design people, administrative and financial members of each newspaper, who are some of the most dedicated groups of people I have seen.

QCNA STAFF

RICHARD TARDIF, Executive Director CAROLYN KITZANUK, Administrative Assistant MARNIE OWSTON, Advertising Coordinator & Bookkeeper

Mission Statement

The Quebec Community Newspapers Association is dedicated to the professional and economic development of English community newspapers and their enterprises serving minority communities in Quebec. Quebec Community Newspapers Association 400 Grand Boulevard, Suite 5 Ile Perrot, QC J7V 4X2 Tel. 514-453-6300 Fax 514-453-6330 Email: info@qcna.qc.ca Website: www.qcna.org QCNA acknowledges the support of The Department of Canadian Heritage


March 2012