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The Official Publication of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association

September 2011

New Ad Deal Reached with Ad*Reach

Marnie Owston Photo

Seen above – (seated) QCNA President, Heather Dickson with (standing left to right) QCNA Treasurer, George Bakoyannis, QCNA Director, Fred Ryan, and QCNA Vice President, Steve Bonspiel at the September 16, 2011, Board of Directors meeting.

President, Heather Dickson is seen signing a new advertising agreement that has been reached between the Ontario Community Newspapers Association (OCNA) and QCNA. This new agreement allows OCNA’s advertising arm, Ad*Reach, to represent Full members of QCNA for national advertising. Ad*Reach represents the 310+ OCNA member newspapers for national advertising sales and will now, upon publisher’s consent, represent Full members of QCNA for national advertising. A win-win deal for all involved! And, as the Cajun expression goes, ‘Laissez les bon temps roulez!’

What’s Inside ISWNE Wrap Up 2011 ................................................... Page 2 The Suburban’s St. Pierre/Payette Editorial ................... Page 3 Quebec Public Consultation Meeting Info ..................... Page 4 QCNA Happenings ......................................................... Page 5 Industry Highlights ......................................................... Page 6 Steve Bonspiel - Editorial Critiques ............................... Page 7

ISWNE Wrap Up 2011 continued .......................................................... Page 8 Fred Ryan - Reading The Papers ............................................................ Page 9 Marnie Owston - CMC Launch ............................................................. Page 10 Kevin Slimp - Speed Makes All the Difference ..................................... Page 11 John Foust - 5 secrets to high-performance ad departmemts ................. Page 12

QCNA Connector

September 2011


Wrap Up 2011 by Steve Bonspiel QCNA Vice President


f you had to send 57 editors overseas to talk shop about the daily grind of community journalism, catch up on life, and have a few pints of ale, the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors’ conference in Coventry, England was certainly not a bad choice! In fact, beyond serving the purpose it was intended to - getting professionals in our troubled industry together under one roof to learn from each other and grow as individuals – we also shot plenty of the proverbial you-know-what and I felt like I was quickly accepted as part of a loving journalistic family. We also found ourselves in the middle of one of the biggest scandals in British journalism history. Check that. It was easily one of the biggest scandals in the world. When Britain’s News of the World daily was hit with what the Brits are calling Wapping-gate, (which refers to the site the paper was based at, and the Americans’ favourite scandal, Watergate) the phonehacking scandal was so tremendous it effectively ended the 168-year old tabloid’s life on Sunday, July 10, 2011. Self-proclaimed as the “greatest investigative newspaper in the world,” NoW found itself in the middle of what its journalists became accustomed to covering – unscrupulous tactics and immoral codes of conduct - the likes of which it simply could not recover from. Because this time they were the ones that screwed up. Journalist Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were convicted in 2007 in the Royal Family scandal. They hacked into the private cell phones of Britain’s Monarchy and it landed them in jail. The sideshow that arose this spring from the disappearance of teenager Milly Dowler’s was too much for the News of the World to recover from.

Steve Bonspiel Photo

You can’t go all the way to England without taking a ride on the London Eye, which gives panoramic views of the city, and is located within a stone’s throw of Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.

Pay offs by the media to the police to gain access to her personal cell phone were inexcusable and sickening. Dowler was later found dead and an overwhelming outcry for some sort of justice turned into the paper’s demise. Journalists hacked into her cell phone, deleted messages and used information unlawfully obtained through this method to ‘gain clues’ and feed the public’s thirst for juicy tidbits, severely hampering the police investigation. It was also revealed that many more people were involved than first imagined in the phone-hacking scandal. Former editor of the paper, Rebekah Brooks, along with media giant Rupert Murdoch, who owns NoW, both testified before a British parliamentary committee, to sort of answer pertinent questions, such as, if it was an isolated incident, why were approximately two million British pounds okayed from the top to obtain the information in question? Surely the upper crust knew about this scandal before it formally became one, something they vehemently denied until a whistle blower came forward and implicated others. The crux of it? Police were paid upwards of 120,000 British pounds to

leak important information to the press, violating their vow to the people to uphold the law, while they sold their morals to the highest bidder. With access to the personal pass codes of many other victims in a number of other stories over a five-year period, including the 13 year old at the centre of the scandal, the press simply went too far. It was despicable and it was the talk of the country and no doubt the world. How did this effect media giant Rupert Murdoch’s proposed takeover of satellite company BSkyB? It’s over and done with and some say it spells the end of at least a good portion of Murdoch’s influence on everything from media to top political friends, who have since distanced themselves from him. Was this the hole so many people who detest Murdoch’s pomp and power were looking for, his image forever tarnished in a scandal so large it may take years to figure out fully? Two top cops from the London Metropolitan Police have resigned, and the initial whistle blower was found dead. The scandal itself reeks of hypocrisy, but the truth is it’s a great story, an important learning experience that we will continue to be amazed by. There were early calls to disband the Press Complaints Commission and to give government more control over the ethics and practice of journalists in Britain, but thankfully that appears to have died down. The QCNA was there when a 168-yearold newspaper was closed for good. Once in a lifetime? You bet! The ISWNE conference was full of amazing stories, but this one was very hard to get away from. We learned of NoW’s closing the same day we had a workshop about libel and legal issues and the day after a session on media ethics. Talk about a conversation starter! Of course those of us from overseas were See ISWNE - Page 8

QCNA Connector

September 2011

St-Pierre / Payette Plan Threatens Press


See Page 4 for links to the Payette Report & more important information on the upcoming public consultation meetings to be held in 10 cities in Quebec including one being held in Montreal on Friday, November 11, 2011. begin late this month on some of the very that would control the “accreditation” “I pledge eternal vigilance against any same egregious suggestions made in that process. attempt at tyranny over the mind of man.” ill-advised report. It is wrong-headed and Even now, without expanded powers ~ Thomas Jefferson it threatens basic press freedoms. The imagined, the Quebec Press Council n late 2009, Dominique Payette, a consultations will focus on the creation of has a reputation for investigating farformer journalist and now professor an accreditation organization to create an fetched complaints launched by thinat the Université de Montreal, order of journalists with rights superior skinned cultural nationalists. It is hardly was mandated by Culture Minister to others. The Minister is also planning an oracle of objectivity, and has done Christine St-Pierre to study strategies for to go ahead with consultations on forcing serious damage to public discourse merely strengthening the province’s media in the through its role as a clearing house for face of new information technologies. Her media organizations to become members of the Quebec Press Council or risk the most militant elements within Quebec final report went far beyond that mandate. losing government advertising. It will be society. In fact, it is the greatest affront to free The idea of language testing for expression in Quebec since the creation of interesting to see what the government plans to do with Quebecor, which pulled accreditation would surely put much of the province’s infamous anti-English out of the press council, and The Gazette, the ethnic press out of business. That’s the language laws. It deserves a resounding The Globe and Mail and The National point of the ethnic press: to communicate rejection. Among her 51 recommendations are the Post who have all condemned the plan and with those who have not yet mastered our two official languages. following: mandatory “Implicating the government, even in an It is doubtful whether even membership by all indirect manner, in the creation of separate French reporters could pass the news organizations in the Quebec Press classes of journalists opens the door to state government’s onerous French grammar tests. Council; use of the We cannot blame Ms. Payette state’s spending power determination of who may write. It flies in to coerce membership the face of the basic freedoms of expression alone. In her mandate, Minister justified this study in this council by inherent in the constitutions of all democratic St-Pierre on the basis of the “general threatening to withdraw crises of media in industrialized provincial advertising societies.” countries.” Really? What from all those that any role for the state in journalism. crises? Too much free expression? Of will not submit; vesting the council Implicating the government, even in course, we needn’t be surprised. This (now a voluntary organization with only an indirect manner, in the creation of is the same minister who encouraged moral suasion) with sanction power; separate classes of journalists opens the Quebecers to snitch on each other in order controlling who is called a “journalist” door to state determination of who may to enforce the province’s language laws. by organizing a professional corporation write. It flies in the face of the basic Since the French revolution writers and to control admission, and demanding journalists have been recognized as the language testing for all those seeking such freedoms of expression inherent in the constitutions of all democratic societies. fourth estate of government. For centuries, accreditation. “Accredited” journalists Forcing membership in anything with the those concerns of the people that the would be given preference over nonuse of money as a hammer is nothing but legislature will not address and that the accredited journalists on matters ranging blackmail. judiciary cannot address and that the from government information flow to In this regard, the title of Ms. Payette’s executive is too busy to address, have been protection of sources. The report follows report — “Information in Quebec: a championed by a free and unfettered press. in the same spirit that, over the past 40 public interest” — is telling. Quebec’s By controlling who can call himself or years, has brought more and more of various government have used the label herself a journalist, you take the first step Quebecers’ lives under statist control. “public interest” to justify all manner of to the destruction of freedom. Accrediting When we first wrote against the Payette prohibitive legislation. But Ms. Payette’s writers is like accrediting who can stand Report earlier this year, we were hoping ideas would be especially dangerous. for public office. This needs to be stopped. that St-Pierre would temper some of Quebec City would have the power to the more draconian recommendations. Editorial re-printed with permission from silence any opposing voice simply by Unfortunately, the Minister has decided The Suburban influencing the “professional corporation” to go ahead with public consultations that September 14, 2011


QCNA Connector

September 2011


Important Quebec Government Public Consultation Meeting On Proposal of professional title for journalists


ack in February 2011, QCNA responded to the Dominique Payette Report (‘L’information au Québec, un intérêt public’ that was released in January 2011) regarding the future of information and journalism in Quebec. The report proposed, among other things, annual professional accreditation that included French language education requirements to obtain professional journalist status. Many QCNA member papers also responded with strongly-worded editorials on the subject that were shared among all QCNA members. In particular, an editorial by The Suburban’s editor, Beryl Wajsman, went Canada wide running in the National Post on February 15 http://fullcomment. On August 22, the Quebec government announced the autumn schedule for public consultation meetings concerning the Payette report ‘L’information au Québec, un intérêt public.’ This report called for a new model of media regulation that may include certification for journalists. According to Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine’s website the deadline to submit a written brief was September 28, 2011. The Montreal public consultation meeting is scheduled for Friday, November 11, 2011. The date to register for this meeting is Friday, October 28.

Similar consultation meetings will be held in nine other cities across Quebec from October 7 to December 15 Rimouski, Gaspé, Rouyn, Gatineau, Saguenay, Baie-Comeau, (Montreal), Trois-Rivières and Sherbrooke. QCNA strongly encourages you to be a part of this public consultation process. Here are some links to pertinent info: Public Consultation Info: php?id=3277

CAJ (Canadian Association of Journalists) website CAJ’s response to Quebec’s government’s proposal of professional titles for journalists. La Presse Canadienne article of August 22, 2011 nouvelles/quebec-lance-uneconsultation-sur-l-avenir-desmed-92760.html

Schedule of Meetings: php?id=3284

The Suburban’s Editorial of September 14, 2011 (See page 3 of this Connector)

Report by Culture Minister Christine St-Pierre, Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine ‘News Media Serving the Public Interest - Strategies of Ministère de la culture, communications et de la condition féminine’ English version: fileadmin/documents/publications/ consultation/new-media-servingpublic-interest.pdf French version: fileadmin/documents/publications/ consultation/Document_consultation_ Francais.pdf

The Suburban’s Editor, Beryl Wajsman Editorial of February 2, 2011, than ran in the National Post on February 15.

Payette Report rapport_2010.pdf

http://fullcomment.nationalpost. com/2011/02/15/beryl-wajsman-quebecreport-would-submit-journalists-to-statecontrols/

Other February 2011 editorials on this topic by QCNA members are available by contacting the QCNA office at or 514-453-6300.

Public Consultation Important Dates To Remember September 28 - was deadline to submit a written brief October 28 - registration deadline for Montreal meeting November 11 - Montreal public consultation meeting

QCNA Connector

September 2011


QCNA happenings On the Move

• The Laval News has moved locations in Laval. New address: 3860 Notre Dame Boulevard, Suite 304, Laval, QC H7V 1S1. Phone and fax remain the same. • The Chronicle has moved locations from Dollard des Ormeaux to Dorval. The new Dorval address is the same for member paper Le Magazine de l’Ile des Soeurs (Nuns’ Island Magazine). New coordinates: 455 Fenelon, #303, Dorval, Qc H9S 5T8. Phone 514-636-7314. Fax 514-636-7317.

Publication Date Changes

• Effective August 2011, The Gleaner, a Quebecor-owned weekly newspaper, changed its publication date from Wednesdays to Mondays - new deadline Thursdays. • Effective September 2011, The Townships Outlet changed from a biweekly to a monthly, now publishing the first Wednesday of each month – deadline previous Friday.

New Journalist At The Chronicle

Carmen Fabio, a recent Concordia University journalism graduate, has joined The Chronicle as a journalist replacing the departing Sarah Leavitt who’s left for

an editor position at OpenFile. Some of you may have met Carmen at QCNA’s Professional Day, Awards Gala or possibly employed her at your newspaper as an intern.

George and George DEKA Award Winners

Member newspaper The Greek Canadian News’ co-publishers George Bakoyannis and George Guzmas were recognized recently at the Hellenic Board of Trade of Montreal’s DEKA 2011 awards held in Montreal. The DEKA Awards are an industry-wide competition that recognize outstanding Hellenic individuals, businesses and organizations in the Greater Montreal area, which through their creativity and excellence have contributed to the enrichment of the business community. Congratulations to George and George, winners of the 2011 DEKA Award for Small Business, for their ‘Newsfirst Multimedia’ business. See link: watch?v=reyrQUVqo60

Pontiac Journal’s Apprentice Journalists

Pontiac Journal’s French editor, André Macron (seen in middle of photo) collaborated with two fifth year students, Maryse Vallières and Mathew Ladouceur, from Ecole Secondaire Sieur-deCoulonge Nancy Hunt Photo who volunteered to contribute one or two articles per issue during the 2010-2011 school year. At the beginning of this school year, the two students received an apprentice journalist certificate and a book from the Pontiac Journal team in exchange for their contribution to the writing of articles. The students got extra credits in school and the Pontiac Journal benefited from their input - a real win-win for everyone! PLUS.... the young man is going to pursue journalism in university in the fall of 2012! And who knows ... a possible future journalist for the Pontiac Journal!

Links of Interest Copy of Newspapers Canada FOI Audit Newspapers Canada links to the National Freedom of Information Audit report released as part of the ‘Right To Know Week,’ September 26 – 30, 2011. National Freedom of Information Audit 2011

Digital 2011 Day November 7, 2011, Sheraton Centre Hotel, Toronto Presented by the Canadian Marketing Association and Marketing Magazine digital.asp

Freedom Of Information Audit 2011 Ontario

CAJ (Canadian Association of Journalists) response to the Quebec government’s proposal of professional title for journalists

Russell Viers ‘Just the Facts, Ma’am’ Lots of interesting demographics on newspaper reading trends … and more selection of industry related info. Just The Facts Ma’am

Fagstein Blog Site Steve Faguy is a freelance journalist living in Montreal. His blog site offers various

thoughts on Montreal, the media and more. Canadian Libel Insurance – cnrie The CNRIE (Canadian Newspapers Reciprocal Insurance Exchange) provides media insurance to community newspapers, small market dailies, magazines, academic journals and trade publications. CPF (Canada Periodical Fund) ‘Aid To Publishers’ – for the latest updates for those paid newspapers receiving funding.

QCNA Connector

September 2011

Industry Highlights QCGN’s 2011 Goldbloom Awards

QCGN’s (Quebec Community Groups Network) 3rd annual Sheila and Victor Goldbloom Distinguished Community Service Award ceremony will be taking place on October 22, 2011, starting at 6 p.m. at the St. James Club in downtown Montreal. This year’s laureates are an outstanding trio of women: Aline Visser, Gemma Raeburn-Baynes and Joan Ivory. Read the press release at: http:// On hand for the event, which will be emceed by Rob Lurie of CTV News, will be this year’s winners of the award, their family and friends, Dr. and Mrs. Goldbloom, as well key English-speaking community leaders and organizers from across the province.Tickets are $95. Deadline to reserve and return to QCGN is October 7. For registration form and payment info go to: http://www.qcgn. ca/2011-goldbloom-awards/ For more information on the event, contact Roseline Joyal-Guillot at 514-868-9044, ext. 257.

QCGN Strategic Priorities Forum October 17 – 28

As part of QCGN’s Strategic Priorities Forum, sector groups of the QCGN have been invited to participate in upcoming community consultation meetings to take place at the QCGN office in downtown Montreal between October 17 and 28. This forum provides the community sector serving English-speaking Quebecers with an opportunity to share individual goals and priorities amongst themselves and their partners. This dialogue will in turn permit QCGN to identify areas of common concern, which it can plan to address as a community. QCGN is calling upon all community partners, stakeholders and leaders that have a sense of loyalty and attachment to the English-speaking community to get involved in this forum that will play a key role in informing federal government partners in planning their intergovernmental, interdepartmental and intradepartmental activities that support our community. The process, which will build upon the rich experience of all of

Quebec’s regions and sectors, will provide a unique opportunity for English-speaking leaders to come together and determine community-wide priorities. The timing of this process is crucial since the federal government will be exploring policy and program initiatives that will be included in its next five-year strategy to support Official Language Minority Communities, including Quebec’s English-speaking community. To be truly effective QCGN needs input from all of Quebec’s regions and sectors. For more information on the Strategic Priorities Forum, the Priority Setting Steering Committee, or this consultation process, please contact Stephen Thompson, Director of Policy, Research and Public Affairs, QCGN at stephen. or 514-973-6555.

Eileen Barak No Longer With Newspapers Canada

Eileen Barak left Newspapers Canada effective June 21. Newspapers Canada is re-examining its Ottawa representation and in the interim has retained Summa Strategies Canada to assist with government relations efforts. If members have any questions, please contact CEO John Hinds at jhinds@

Transcontinental’s Remi Marcoux stepping down

Transcontinental co-founder Remi Marcoux is stepping down as the company’s executive chair of the board. Marcoux will remain on the board but will pass chair responsibilities on to his daughter Isabelle Marcoux in February 2012. Isabelle is currently vicechairwoman of the board for the media and printing company.

Newspapers Canada Webinar Info 2011 – 2012

The 2011-12 webinar season kicked off on September 13 with a free session on Video Shooting Skills, of interest to anyone with a camera. The series continues with webinars on Page Layout Design, Selling Results, Not Space, Video Story Forms


and Watchdog Journalism. These webinars are available to all members of QCNA. There are four free webinars in the series of 17. Cost of each webinar is $25. For the full schedule, visit: webinars - sched Looking to maximize your training potential? Ask your manager about signing up your newspaper for the whole series and get professional training sessions all year long at an incredibly low rate. Subscribe now to the 2011/2012 webinar season: cart.php?m=product_list&c=4 For more info contact: info@

Newspapers Canada’s ‘Ink & Beyond’ 2012

Newspapers Canada ‘Ink & Beyond’ 2012 is to be held April 25 - 29, 2012 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in the heart of downtown Toronto. Newspapers Canada, the voice of Canada’s 830 daily and community newspapers, will partner for the first time with the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ), as well as the Ontario Community Newspapers Association (OCNA), the prestigious National Newspaper Awards and the Canadian Circulation Management Association (CCMA) to make a powerful statement about the strength and vitality of Canada’s newspaper industry. The CCMA and CAJ conferences will be the bookends for the week’s events and, under the INK+BEYOND umbrella, will share some programming. Following a sell-out conference in 2011, next year’s conference will also feature an expanded two-day trade show with increased opportunities for exhibitors and sponsors to showcase their products before the decision-makers in Canada’s newspaper industry.

APF 2012 Conference & Awards

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.

QCNA Connector

September 2011


Editorial Critiques: A practice we need to adopt every year by Steve Bonspiel QCNA Vice President


hat do you think is wrong with your editorials? You think the same people win the best editorial awards each year? A little weak on your lead? Maybe your prose is uninspired and your writing needs a boost? The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors’ (ISWNE) conference from July 6-10, 2011, brought together hundreds of years experience, and boy was it a fun ride! Editorial critiques are, I think, something every editor in the Quebec Community Newspapers Association

Sitting at a table to discuss what you wrote, how your thoughts were formulated, and why the hell you had both a question mark and an exclamation point after a sentence, is not for the faint of heart.

Steve Bonspiel Photo

Steve Bonspiel Photo

The editorial critique sessions were not for the faint of heart as veteran editors tore through

the pieces of those who were brave enough to submit. should be striving to participate in - every single year. Those of you who were able to attend Professional Day on January 21, 2011, which included editorial critiques with Tim Waltner of ISWNE, along with a presentation from award-winning investigative journalist Alex Roslin, know the value of learning from the tremendous talent we have at our disposal. Inspiring people like Fred Ryan, Jim Bell and Heather Dickson have been in the business for many years for a number of reasons, not the least of which is their strong conviction to help the ‘new blood’ learn from their successes along with their foibles.

In fact, at least a few people noticeably got the hair on their backs up and were ready to defend an editorial that they felt was truly reflective of their paper. The truth is, however, that the input from fresh eyes is a must, and the only way to get better is to swallow our pride. Breaking off into groups and spending a couple of hours on each other’s editorials helps you to grow as a writer, if you have an open mind and thick skin. It’s not easy to hear your stuff needs work, but I for one vowed two things for next year’s ISWNE conference: To bring in better, more sound editorials that will withstand the criticism of an editor who has been in the business for 40 years, who has all but toppled governments thanks to their persistence and tenacious pursuit for the truth. Secondly, I also want to be in the Golden Dozen one day, that is the top 12 editorials chosen from close to 100 entries (this year) from the best ISWNE has to offer in community newspapers. In fact, I want to win the Golden Quill award one day, and I have about 30 years to accomplish this feat. Heady competition, for sure, but only time will tell and I’m up for the challenge!

Very few editors repeat as winners, as Canadian Community Newspaper Association president Paul MacNeill can attest to. He has been one of the Golden Dozen on seven occasions, but against stiff competition, has won the prestigious award ‘only’ once. It is certainly quite the feat and his speech, which was the talk of the banquet about Jack ‘Sig’ Sigvaldason, a giant of Canadian journalism who built a media empire in the Canadian north, demonstrated the type of person and the type of skills necessary to win. He is clearly one of the best writers in North America as he painted a complete picture of a man I knew nothing about, but as soon as he was done it felt like I knew him for years. He also tugged at the heart and elicited a few hearty laughs, a difficult skill that takes years of practice while sitting next to legends like Sig. The QCNA needs to hear from you, the editors. Are you interested in editorial critiques on an annual basis? Do we, as a collective, see the merits of it to the point where we are willing to get together, not only for the awards ceremony, but another time during the year? Should it be part of the QCNA awards night? I welcome feedback at the email address below and I encourage open and honest discussion. It’s not easy to put yourself out there and open yourself up to other editors and their differing takes on what is good and what is not, but it is vital to our association, and it is imperative in the development of not only you as editors and leaders, but the future of the QCNA. Please contact me at steveb@ and we can figure out the best way to continue to push for better journalism together.

QCNA Connector

September 2011


Continued from Page 2 enthralled, but editors from the U.K. and other parts of Europe worked up into an almost frenzied-like state. To put it in perspective, imagine the Globe and Mail closed because of a severe dip in journalistic integrity. No, that’s not large enough. Imagine the New York Times or Washington Post were hit with scandals and were forced to shut down. Hard to believe isn’t it? It is unprecedented. Sure, NoW is a tabloid and prints things on its front page that no one in our business would ever touch, mostly focusing on celebrity gossip, but they also broke major stories, put away criminals and produced scoop after scoop in a way that contradicted the celebrity ‘news’ the paper thrived on.

Richard McCourt, his friends call him Dick, is a veteran retired editor who had the Pulitzer Prize for best editorial writing taken away from him. A Pulitzer Prize! Snatched away! Can you imagine? If the NoW scandal didn’t hit when it did, His story easily would have been my lead. It was certainly a close second. As we all know, in our business one front page can easily be relegated to the back if something juicier comes along. McCourt wrote a number of wonderful editorials on local matters that were at the forefront in his town of Santa Fe, New Mexico for a paper

Steve Bonspiel Photo

Steve Bonspiel Photo

Bill Haupt had a close call at Warwick Castle, where ISWNE members wined and dined, and at the end of the night felt pretty merry.

The last edition came out on Sunday, July 10, 2011, and it hardly survived the plane ride home after heavy rain soaked my luggage and came close to ruining it, but it will stand as a reminder that absolutely anything can happen in our business. It was also the last day of our conference, when everyone left, each one of us with a strange feeling that the world press would never be the same.

ISWNE veterans inspire Believe it or not some of the stories told at the conference rivaled, at least in my humble opinion, the demise of the News of the World.

Ashton Clemmer, son of Wainwright Star News editor Kelly Clemmer, was always ready to offer a little comedic touch. Here, he shares a pint of beer at Warwick Castle.

called the Santa Fe Reporter. He didn’t own it, but he was there at the beginning, edited it for 15 years, and helped to make it into one of the most respectable papers in the U.S. Two changes happened to the Pulitzer Prizes in 1982: One, he became the first (we think) community newspaper editor to beat out the New York Times, but ultimately lose (according to his humble opinion it may have happened before, but that has not been verified). And second, his situation actually changed the way the Pulitzer Prize is awarded. Back then, a panel of five jurors analyzed the entries and recommended a winner to the Pulitzer board. The board didn’t agree with the four jurors who chose Dick, and overturned the verdict, handing the New York Times’

Jack Rosenthal the award. The next year the panel was told to select what it thinks are the three best entries, but the ultimate choice of who was actually deserving of the award now lies with the board. Dick’s pieces, which ranged from a heartfelt response to a horrific fire that ravaged a local business, to a fight against the state government’s plan to raze a beautiful little park next to the Santa Fe River, and literally put up a parking lot, were very compelling. His plight must have caused some kind of a ripple, because two years later, still fresh in the mind of the board, Albert Scardino, editor of the Georgia Gazette in Savannah, Georgia, won the same prize Dick was denied for his “series of editorials on various local and state matters.” Was it a direct result of Dick’s situation, remedying itself, albeit it too late for him? Maybe, however few community newspapers have been honoured since then and Dick has the unfortunate distinction of being a Pulitzer Prize winner without experiencing the glory of actually accepting it. But what a great story to listen to! No wonder he won for his elegant yet terse writing. The irony here is Albert Scardino and his business partner welcomed us at his partner’s home in the old English countryside this summer. The paper he won the prize with went bankrupt long ago, but he still cherishes the prestige of winning a Pulitzer Prize, a feeling that surely never goes away.

If you’d like to become a member of ISWNE, you can join online, call 417-625-9736, fax 417-659-4445, email, or by snail mail: Dr. Chad Stebbins, Missouri Southern State University, 3950 East Newman Boulevard, Joplin, MO 648011595 – for the low price of $50 US funds.

QCNA Connector

September 2011


Reading The Papers A by Fred Ryan

n enjoyable part of my job is reading other community newspapers, especially those from outside our boundaries: the Cree’s The Nation, the Mohawks’ The Eastern Door, the Gaspé SPEC, the Sherbrooke Record, plus the dozens in metroMontreal. While it may be fascinating to read about exotic peoples and places in Canadian Geographic, it is just as fascinating to read about people who could very well be our neighbours, facing issues and challenges we don’t, we might, or that we have faced. Community newspapers -- weeklies, biweeklies, and monthlies -- are blossoming across the country. Their readership is growing! Many community papers in Alberta and BC are larger than LeDroit and the Citizen combined. There are mammoth corporations operating in this area, and they often create financial difficulties for community papers, since the public seems barely able to discern any problem with corporate sanitization of its community’s news – and its voice. The “voice of the public” role of community papers is most important and is unmatched by other media; it is vulnerable to the deadening effect of big money in the marketplace,

as well as are sensitive news articles. It would be good for the public to reflect on these differences, a bit like watching what one eats (where many nearby small sources may be best). Weeklies are real small sources. My

reading is only five or six papers a week, many quickly, but they add up to an interesting summary of what’s going on out there in the genuine world (not Washington, Hollywood, or New Delhi). These small sources yield big information about people living lives similar to our own. The weeklies also carry a surprisingly large amount of news which seems to slip right past the big dailies. This is certainly100% true for First Nations’ papers. There seems to be so much going on in many First Nations, within interesting community processes,

that the good news there finally balances the bad news. We still have no idea of the heavy presence in native communities of residential schools, for example. Good housing and the lack of water and public hygiene that we take for granted are eyeopening in their absence here within our wonderful “home and native land”. That’s also true of Quebec weeklies – for, say, Alberta readers. Quebec’s absolute anguish over its years defending its culture and language is not even on the big-media radar screens out west. Reading weeklies brings one face to face with the nitty-gritty stuff that every society struggles with, as well as going face to face with a lot of great and encouraging stories of super accomplishments. Information? Politics is made on-the-ground; which is where weeklies are also made. Newspapers are called “old media” because they’ve already figured out how to report real, verifiable news. And they are at work everywhere. Reprinted with permission from Bulletin d’Aylmer, August 24.11 Fred Ryan is the publisher of the Pontiac Journal du Pontiac, The West Quebec Post, and the Bulletin d’Aylmer; and a member of the QCNA board of directors.

The Editorial Services Committee needs you! By Steve Bonspiel Editorial Services Committee Chair


o you have a bunch of ideas on how to make the Quebec Community Newspapers Association better? Would you like to be part of a vibrant group discussion that gives you direct input on the QCNA’s annual awards ceremony? The Editorial Services Committee needs fresh ideas and enthusiastic new faces. We only meet on average once or twice a year, but your input, which goes directly to the board, is vital in the continuing growth of our association.

If you would like to know more about what the Editorial Services Committee is, contact me directly at steveb@easterndoor. com, or you can give me a call at 450-6353050. In the past, our decisions have led to the creation of new awards, divided awards such as the prize for Best Environmental and Best Agricultural Award into two, and have led to interesting chats on potential new locations for our AGM, while fostering free-flowing discussions on stories that are pertinent to you!

It is a chance to see what others in the association are doing, dealing with and working to be successful at. Last year’s Professional Day, held on January 21, 2011, for example, was a direct result of our committee’s input. The QCNA and our Committee teamed up to bring in an editorial critique session and an investigative presentation, both vital skills for our papers to continue to thrive and stay relevant in the everchanging world of media. Hope to hear from you!

QCNA Connector

September 2011

CMC Launch


by Marnie Owston Advertising Coordinator - QCNA

Marnie Owston Photo

Anne Lannan, Executive Director of OCNA and Heather Dickson, QCNA President at the launch on September 27, 2011.


Marnie Owston Photo

Clockwise from left – Anne Lannan, Executive Director, OCNA; George Affleck, General Manager, BCYCNA; Mike Kierstead, Executive Director, Newspapers Atlantic; Dennis Merrell, Executive Director, AWNA; Steve Nixon, Executive Director, MCNA & SWNA.

Marnie Owston Photo

Marnie Owston, QCNA, with one of the iPad2 draw winners, Etna Wood of Day Advertising. In the background is CCNA President, Paul MacNeill, who emceed the evening’s event.

eptember 27, 2011, saw the launch of the new Community Media Canada (CMC) website (http://www. at The Boiler House in Toronto. The launch was attended by executive directors, regional association presidents and staff from across the country as well as media representatives from many Toronto-based advertising agencies. The overhaul of the CMC website and ad placement in important media such as Marketing Magazine, Strategy and Infopresse is in a large part thanks to funding from Canadian Heritage. This project has seen all association executive directors and the QCNA staff working diligently to increase community newspaper presence to media representatives. It was a pleasure to see the Toronto launch attended by planners from Day Advertising, OMD, Geomedia, M2 and Brainstorm, among others. The new website will be used by agency planners looking for contact information, quick stats and an easy portal to community newspaper associations across the country.


hat would happen if someone replaced your Macbook with a manual typewriter? Or if you had to develop photos in a darkroom instead of via Photoshop? College journalists at Florida Atlantic University were recently asked to create an issue of their student newspaper using only

Stop the Presses! pre-computer technology, and the resulting confusion is amusing, but also scary. It doesn’t take a genius (or even a journalist) to notice how lost we’d all be without our shiny new gadgets. Click here for more on this amusing story: http://journoterrorist. com/2011/08/02/ paperball2/

QCNA Connector

September 2011


Speed makes all the difference These two newspapers have more in common than you might think

Kevin Slimp Consultant & Speaker

Talk about different situations. Last week, I spent two days in the city that never sleeps, visiting with a staff that produces large weeklies, shoppers and more. This week, I’m in a southern town, working with the staff of a small daily paper for two days. You’d think the situations couldn’t be different. In New York, the pace was incredibly hectic. Staff moved at a frantic pace, working to get the next assignment done. No time to visit. No time to waste. People yelled. Supervisors barked orders. It was the classic big city situation. My first task upon arriving here was to sit around a conference table with an editor, ad director and two other managers and discuss what was happening at their paper and what we hoped to accomplish while I’m here. No hurry. No fuss. Just a relaxing conversation, with my Diet Mountain Dew in hand, that provided most of the information I needed to understand my assignment. You would think the situations couldn’t be more different. In fact, these two newspapers hold much in common. While a little more than half of my time at both offices was spent training staff in software applications, the other half was spent analyzing the workflows and making recommendations concerning things that could be improved. The paper in New York was moving to the InCopy/InDesign workflow system. That required training in both applications. We also dealt with problem PDF files (yes, they were all created the wrong way) and held a session on creating animated Flash files for the paper’s website. Here at the daily paper, we’ve focused our training on advanced InDesign, photo editing and correcting problem PDF files. It’s almost funny that so many of the PDF

files we create and receive from others still cause so many printing problems. What I learned, however, was that these two papers hold more than PDF issues in common. Both papers have something in the workflow that is slowing their production efforts to a snail’s pace at times. In New York, it was the Internet. Outfitted with new computers and software, the staff worked diligently to get out their products. The building had even been equipped Several speed tests are available on line to determine with new network wiring rewhether your Internet speed is up to standard. cently. The problem wasn’t in the equipment or the wires. It staff working to produce quality publicawas with the Internet speed itself. I visited with key managers and ex- tions, on strict deadlines, with slow equipplained that the workflow was being ham- ment. As I go from workstation to workpered significantly by the slow Internet. station and watch the staff, I can’t help but While I was there, phone calls were al- think that efficiency could easily increase ready being made to find a new provider by a third or more with new hardware and software. who could provide faster service. Publishers sometimes balk at the idea I’m amazed at the number of newspapers I visit who are still working with DSL. of having to spend tens of thousands of Sure, it’s still the only thing available in dollars on new computers and software. some places, but in most areas much faster I balk at the idea of staff sitting around, options are available. In Knoxville, where I through new fault of their own, waiting for live, cable Internet can be over 100 times as the spinner to stop spinning in InDesign fast as DSL. That’s a difference that makes an or for a file to open in Photoshop. The truth is that many newspapers impact on the bottom line. Cable Internet, when available, can could almost double their efficiency with also be more than 50 times as fast as a T1 new equipment. That’s hard to disregard. I love newspapers like these. Both are line. If you’ve noticed that you have to wait on the Internet, it might be a good time working hard to create quality publicato see if you have a faster option available. tions for their communities. And both And, fortunately, cable Internet is usually are reaching out for help in understanding what they can do increase both quality less expensive than T1. The group in New York was also looking and efficiency. The newspapers in New York and the into a vendor who could provide quality newspaper management software at an af- newspaper here in the South have bright fordable price. I find it interesting that most futures. Ad revenue is coming in at a papers I’ve visited in the past two years healthy pace. Great staffs are in place and have been in search of new management efficiency is improving. Those are winning software. There are many options at various combinations. price points. This is another area that can increase efficiency greatly. Take Advantage of Kevin’s This week, at the small daily paper, I’m noticing a common thread. Speed is also December 2011 hindering production efforts. It’s not slow Internet that’s causing delays and disruptions. It’s old computers and software. Nothing pains me more than to see a

On-Site Specials

QCNA Connector

by John Foust Raleigh, NC


September 2011


Five secrets of high-performance ad departments

n addition to the basics of operating an advertising department (staffing, administration, account assignments, sales goals, technology procedures, etc.), there are other things that successful publications do to boost effectiveness. Let’s take a look at five: 1. They encourage in-house leads. At a lot of papers, there is a fence between the news and ad staffs. In today’s media environment, where there is increased competition for stories and advertising, both departments should act like they are on the same team. After all, they’re both out in the community, talking with sources and drumming up ideas. Successful papers encourage departments to share leads with each other. When a news reporter learns about a breaking business development, he or she should share that information with the ad department. And when a sales person hears something newsworthy, that information should be given to the news department. 2. Management is involved. Some years ago, I talked to a publisher who thought his ad staff should be performing better. During our brief conversation, he claimed that he was “too busy” to keep up with what they were doing. In other words,

he wanted to fix what he perceived as a problem, but didn’t want to spend any time on it. In his mind, the problem was theirs, not his. It’s no surprise that the most productive ad departments are backed by publishers and managers who are intensely interested and supportive. They don’t meddle. But they know what’s going on. 3. Management doesn’t compete with sales teams. “I used to work for a sales manager who wanted to outperform everyone in the department,” an account executive once told me. “When she set up sales contests, she participated too, because she handled some key accounts. There were weekly meetings to rank the staff, and if she wasn’t in first place, she stayed in a foul mood for a couple of days. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with friendly competition, but she took it too far. It was a real morale killer.” 4. They see training as a process, not an event. An old friend of mine has a favorite saying: “The biggest room in the house is room for improvement.” He says that, no matter how good you are, you can always get better.

remember, someone somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him, he will win.” In my training business, I’ve seen a number of successful publications that provide their ad departments with ongoing educational programs. They’re not sitting on the sidelines. They’re constantly working to improve – through the use of on-site programs, videos, books, and conferences. 5. They work at networking. When top sales people attend networking events, their motto is, “Fly, don’t flock.” Instead of congregating in the corner with co-workers, they take advantage of opportunities to meet new people and strengthen existing business relationships. Many a sale has started with a conversation at a networking event. Highperformance ad departments take those meetings seriously.

Basketball Hall-of-Famer Ed Macauley said, “When you are not practicing,

© 2011 by John Foust. All rights reserved. John Foust has trained thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Mamy ad departments are using his taining videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. Email:


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: Website: QCNA acknowledges the support of The Department of Canadian Heritage

September 2011  

September 2011

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