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The Connector Connecting the English community press in Quebec for 33 years

December 2013

Since 1980

The Quebec Community Newspapers Association Newsletter

An era comes to an end at The Equity, new one begins Low Down reporters leap to Dailies Vision sticks it to the Charter

Better Newspapers Competition - Writing business ISWNE - QCNA news - Industry news - Political adsAugmented Reality in newspapers


CCNA meeting lively, a step forward Steve Bonspiel, President, QCNA The latest Canadian Community Newspapers Association Board meeting was lively, thought provoking and informative. The eight newspaper associations from across the country represent hundreds of community newspapers, all with similar problems. Here are a few discussions worth noting from that meeting: As community newspapers we all donate space to community organizations, non-profits and charity, but how much does that equal in terms of cash? The idea was brought up once again at the Board level and it was strongly suggested that each paper (meaning YOURS) do a count of the last six months, to a year, to celebrate our generosity and pinpoint exactly what our charitable donation is. After all, if we don’t toot our own horns, who will? And it would certainly mean a promotion of our socially conscious tendencies, something even the most informed community members aren’t aware of. The reasoning comes from the backdrop of a running theme within the CCNA over the past few years: revenue generation and making more money to boost lagging (for some papers) profits. We’re in an identity crisis and we have to show what community papers do for our communities. It fell in line with what was the biggest discussion in Toronto on Friday, December 6. The board talked about the issue of reduced government advertising in community newspapers and Hugh Nicholson, CCNA Corporate Secretary, proposed the motion to reinstate an Ottawa-based lobbyist. CCNA eliminated the position of an Ottawa-based lobbyist in 2011. Since then government advertising in newspapers has plunged, which CCNA CEO John Hinds believed to be purely coincidental, as government shifted its focus to digital advertising. Nicholson met with Playbook Communications, which gave an informal quote of $8,500 per month for full-time lobbying efforts. An amended motion read as follows: “That CCNA retain the services of a lobby firm on a six-month contract with an option to exDecember 2013


tend, to provide advice and advocacy work in Ottawa on behalf of our association, with a primary goal of increasing revenue for member newspapers.” I believe in a good debate that takes into consideration all viewpoints in a respectful, productive manner. Even though I was outvoted on this initiative, a majority (6-4) voted in favour and I stand by that decision. I opposed it because I thought the wording was off. I felt before committing money to something we should do research first, then if it is copacetic and our members agree, move forward. Although we all stand for the same thing – revenue generation - three other board members agreed with my intent. For the ones that voted for it, it meant addressing long standing issues and moving forward through clear, positive action. If it works it will be amazing. If it doesn’t, we can’t say we didn’t try. Our associations are suffering financially and we have to find ways to tackle that issue – especially in light of an alarming statistic: in the past five years, advertising from the federal government has decreased by over 98 percent. This is our reality and we can either push to reverse it or we can find alternative ways to boost the bottom line for all of our papers. A discussion went on for about 20 minutes and this issue later became part of the CCNA budget – which only had room for $30,000 to put towards a lobbyist, instead of over $50,000. Another motion to increase the budget to make up for the difference was defeated. The possibility to pass along the cost of the Ottawa lobbyist to member papers was also put on the table, but that was rejected outright. If one association prospers and we share ideas, it is certainly possible for us all to prosper. That includes you at home reading this. If you have ideas on how to help both YOUR paper and the QCNA, please forward those ideas to me.Together we can come up with solutions and we welcome ideas from all of our members. Happy Holidays! -2-

STEVE BONSPIEL President, CCNA representative MARC LALONDE Vice President GEORGE BAKOYANNIS Secretary-Treasurer FRED RYAN Director MICHAEL SOCHACZEVSKI Director NIKKI MANTELL Director LILY RYAN Director


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



Having a conversation over the backyard fence

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Richard Tardif, Executive Director, QCNA What a year it has been. I seem to remember writing the same thing this time last year. I guess that is what makes my role special. Because I always feel we are having a great week, great month and a great year. One reason I feel the year has been great is that local news is not in jeopardy. I realized this after visiting many of our newspapers across Quebec. With my own eyes, I learned that most people who live in small communities are likely to be much more interested in finding out what affects their children and neighbours rather than what is happening halfway around the globe. This is not new to me, and I expect it is not new to you. I have read many articles and reports about community niche newspapers. One article even said, “Like conversations over the back fence, local news—delivered in newspapers even in medium-sized cities—will do fine.”

I am here to shout the praises of our newspapers, and not just Quebec Community Newspapers Association newspapers, but also all of them, from coast-to-coast in Canada, and the United States. We can start with the idea that a market for clear and sharp writing about timely subjects important to local populations will never disappear. In fact, there are over 800 community newspapers in Canada, and do we think that they would all disappear? No one believes that. I have had many conversations with member publishers in the last two months, and there are a few things that I hear throughout QCNA membership about community newspapers. First, news content and the channel through which it is communicated remains the same, primarily through newspapers, yet no one is forgetting or ignoring digital articles, blogs, and other new media. Second, the kind of content you expect

and how our readers consume it have always been intertwined. Interesting to note, newspapers with social media and their networks remain steadfast to the community newspaper norm — audience and publisher live and breathe in the same community. The role of the newspaper remains to spark lively conversations or debates within the community. We have always created a place for a fast and efficient read of news. We have been doing that also from a number of strong digital platforms, while still hitting news stands and the driveways. Today we are adapting, evolving as we have throughout history and we still are reaching 800,000 readers every week. This is important, because as a Quebecbased association representing the English minority, it fills us with confidence that our message regarding Quebec’s minority newspapers is being received and understood throughout the province, and that we continue to contribute to the Vitality of Quebec’s English-speaking Communities.

QCNA 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.

About us. The Quebec Community Newspapers Association is as unique as the members it serves. Our English and bilingual publications distribute weekly, monthly, biweekly and daily to some 800,000 readers across the province. These publications serve an exclusive English and bilingual readership in their communities through their focus on relevant local news and high editorial-to-advertising ratio. The results from ComBase, Canada’s most comprehensive media study, show that QCNA newspapers are embraced by Quebec’s unique population more than any other medium in every market they serve. QCNA acknowledges the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage

Quebec Community Newspapers Association 189 Hymus Blvd, Suite 207, Pointe-Claire, Quebec, H9R 1E9 Tel. 514-697-6330 Fax 514-697-6331

December 2013


QCNA Happenings QCNA’s Awards Competition Accepting Your Entries QCNA’s annual awards competition has been up and running since December 4. The majority of the competition process will be done online once again this year and members must submit their entries in PDF format at QCNA’s competition website Contestant information and instructions are available at the competition website by clicking on ‘Contestant Manager Help’ which then takes you to ‘Overview’ and ‘Getting Started Guide’ options. All submissions can be made until midnight Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at which time the competition will go offline. Submit early! Rules of Entry are available at the competition website http://www.betterbnc. com and at: php?page=events. Simply click on the ‘Call For Entries’ link. The list of the three finalists will be made available at the end of March 2014. Contact the QCNA office at 514-6976330 or if you have any questions.

Mark Your Calendars QCNA’s annual general meeting and awards gala will take place on Friday, June 6, 2014 at the picturesque Manoir Saint-Sauveur in the heart of the Laurentians in Saint-Sauveur, Quebec. A morning AGM and afternoon workshop session will be followed by a 6 p.m. ‘meet and greet’ cocktail hour and 7 p.m. banquet dinner. The awards ceremony where QCNA celebrates the best of the best will take place during the coffee and dessert time. There will be plenty of activities available for the entire family, and QCNA will have lots more information available along with your invitation package by the end of March 2014.

Happy Anniversary to three of our members

CTV’s Maya Johnson to host QCNA Gala & awards Maya Johnson has been working as a reporter at CTV Montreal since 2005, where she began as an intern while studying journalism at Concordia University. As a student, she received a scholarship from the Montreal branch of the Canadian Women’s Press Club. After graduating with distinction, Maya was profiled as an up-and-coming journalist in “Watch This Face”, a feature in The Montreal Gazette. She has also been featured as a Young Achiever in The West Island Chronicle. Maya now works as a general assignment reporter in Montreal, but spent one year working in Quebec City covering provincial politics at the National Assembly. She has also been a freelance writer for QCNA member newspapers The West Island Chronicle, and still writes occasionally for Community Contact, covering stories of interest to Montreal’s Black and Caribbean community. QCNA’s annual general meeting and awards gala will take place on Friday, June 6, 2014 at the picturesque Manoir Saint-Sauveur in the heart of the Laurentians in Saint-Sauveur, Quebec. December 2013


QCNA Happenings Vision sticking it to the Charter of Quebec Values How dedicated is the 2013-14 journalism class? So dedicated that they spent three hours on October 11 placing stickers on each of the 2,700 copies of the last edition of Vision newspaper. Perhaps you noticed the thin narrow strips on page 4 at the end of a commentary on the Charter of Quebec Values. Due to an error in the editing process, the last three words were inadvertently cut off, which would have left readers wondering how and where the article ended. The error was only found after the newspapers

were picked up from the printer. “The students and teacher worked so hard on the compilation that I didn’t want them or the readers to be disappointed,” said Vision Project Manager Mary Leblanc. So the night before delivery, she and her daughter printed and cut 2,700 copies of the missing three words. The next day, journalism students, assisted by the Work Skills class and other volunteers, opened the papers in assembly-line-style on the cafeteria tables and proceeded to place the stickers and re-fold the papers. “It was a tedious task,” said Leblanc, “but it was made much easier with teamwork.” After all that work for three little words Vision students received an unanticipated lesson; they now have a taste of what journalists went through during the printing press era. (photo: M. Leblanc)

English-speaking community opposed to Charter of Values Following consultations with its members and a number of like-minded groups, the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) has as many objections to the Charter of Quebec Values as the Charter Affirming The Values Of Secularism And The Religious Neutrality Of The State, As Well As The Equality Of Men And Women, And The Framing Of Accommodation Requests has words in its title. The resolution notes that Quebec’s English-speaking community, which has been an integral part of Quebec for more than two centuries, is a diverse linguistic, cultural, and religious community that is and has always been inclusive.

Here’s how you benefit from ISWNE membership • You'll receive our ISWNE newsletter, published eight times per year, and Grassroots Editor, our quarterly journal. • You'll be able to send your pressing questions about newspaper policy or journalism ethics to the ISWNE Hotline and receive immediate responses from our members. • You'll be able to network with fellow editors who face similar obstacles and constraints at ISWNE's annual conference, every June or July. You'll receive plenty of feedback on how to improve your

editorial page at our no-holds-barred editorial critiques. • You can enter your best editorials in our annual Golden Quill contest and receive a conference scholarship if yours is selected as one of the Golden Dozen (the 12 best). • Share eEditions with participating members using a single user name and password. • You can participate in ISWNE's annual newspaper exchange if you want to see how fellow grassroots editors are covering their communities. • You'll make connections with fellow ISWNE members throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. And through our annual conferences, you can visit many of these places. • And all this for only $60 (U.S.) per year! For membership visit

ISWNE Mission The object of this organization shall be to encourage and promote wise and independent editorial comment, news content and leadership in community newspapers throughout the world; to facilitate the exchange of ideas and viewpoints of community editors in order that they and their readers may become better informed; to help in the development of the community newspaper press as an instrument of mutual understanding and world peace; and to foster freedom of the press in all nations. December 2013


The Equity remains truly a family affair Long time Equity publisher retires by Charles Dickson passed the business on to Ross and Heather Breckenridge to des Joachims, and my paralmost four decades ago, a transition is ents’ great respect for the written word and now underway that will see Heather pass the role it can play in the life of a commuher responsibilities on to me over the next nity. This year marks the 60th anniversary of few months. Some might see it as an opportunity; oth- their purchase of The Equity and the 130th ers might call it a challenge. I call it coming anniversary of its founding. To serve as its steward for a time is a distinct privilege, home. I was literally and not just a little daunting. I will rely raised in this busi- heavily on the great team at the Printshop ness, with my first – Ann, Kathy, Dave, Janey, Steve, Bonnie, year of life spent in Matt, Corey and Andrea – that has made a swing suspended the business a continued success over the over my mother’s decades; on the continued involvement of desk right in the my brother Ross who can be counted on to bring calm and insight to the solution of middle of the shop. My earliest memo- pretty well any problem; and on Heather ries are of the chaos who over these next few months will be of notes on her desk giving me the benefit of her experience from which she gained over the past few decades. I look forward to joining you in the conformed a newspaper each week, the versation about the Pontiac, in the give and random clattering take of ideas that over time give shape to a of the type-setting shared sense of direction, in chronicling the After more than 30-years, Heather Dickson, left, will be handing machinery and the progress and the setbacks in that journey, over the keys of The E uity to Charles Dickson on December 31, rhythmic roar of the and most of all, in celebrating the joys of 2013 Courtesy The Equity. printing presses, the life along the way. I look forward to seeing you here in the stream of visitors, effort to save the rail line. She is President each with a story to tell or an argument to pages of The Equity. of SADC and is an active member of the wage, the endless adventures we had as a Quebec Community Newspaper Associa- family covering events for the paper from tion. And the list goes on. But if you ask Heather, she’ll say without hesitation that her greatest achievement has been raising her two children, Leslie and David, and that her greatest pleasure is her grandchildren, of which Leslie and David have now produced several. All this to say that Heather now has her eye on what some might call ‘retirement’ to enable her to immerse herself more fully into grand-motherhood. Others might characterize it as merely a career change in that it will entail a shift from running a small business to running after small people. Whatever you call it, it is going to happen in January. Heather Dickson, front left, attending the QCNA Annual General Meeting in Aylmer, Quebec Just as my parents, David and Rosaleen, on May 31, 2013. Photo by Richard Tardif. Heather Alberti Dickson has been a coowner and manager of Pontiac Printshop for close to four decades. As publisher of The Equity for almost a quarter of the paper’s 130-year history, she has overseen almost 2,000 issues going to press. She has been engaged in various causes in the Pontiac, not least the current

December 2013


Welcome debate over political ads in newspapers

Bob Cox, Publisher, Winnipeg Free Press The Liberal Party recently purchased a full four-page section in the Winnipeg Sun in advance of the federal by-election in Brandon-Souris. Some people regarded the Sun’s decision to publish the front page advertising wrap as a partisan and controversial move. Publisher Bob Cox offered his opinion on the debate surrounding political advertising in newspapers in an editorial for the paper. His editorial is republished below. It appears we’ve caused a bit of a stir today by selling advertising to the Liberal Party on the front of the Brandon Sun. A full four page section purchased by the Liberals was wrapped around the Sun’s edition in advance of the federal bi-lection in Brandon-Souris. The first thing readers see is Justin Trudeau’s smiling face. I’ve seen the word "controversial" used in a number of tweets and blogs about the advertising. Some are a bit more graphic. My own reaction? It’s fantastic that we actually have a controversy over political advertising in a daily newspaper. Political parties, federally and provincially, abandoned newspaper advertising almost entirely in the 1960s and 1970s and turned to TV as the primary way to reach large pools of voters. I can show political strategists statistics on how our papers attract massive audiences in their markets, larger than TV or radio stations. I can demonstrate the effectiveness of newspaper advertising. I can show that newspaper readers are, in fact, the most likely audience to actually go to the polls on election day. And the advice of those strategists to their political parties will remain the same: buy TV. So it’s refreshing to see the use of newspapers by political parties. During the Nova Scotia election, the NDP bought the front page of the free daily Metro paper in Halifax. During the British Columbia election, the provincial Liberals did the same with the free daily 24 Hours December 2013

in Vancouver. Both instances attracted criticism of the papers by those who said the ads could be confused as editorial content and looked like the papers were simply running favorable stories on the political parties. That’s a fair comment and certainly worth debating. Newspapers should have to defend their policies on accepting political advertising. At FP Newspapers, publisher of both the Brandon Sun and the Winnipeg Free Press, we accept political advertising on the same terms and in the same positions as we would any advertising. We regularly sell wraps around our newspapers with the actual front page covered by what is essentially an advertising flyer. These have been used to promote everything from hospital lotteries to grocery stores. We do not allow advertisers to disguise themselves or make the ad appear like it is editorial content. It does not mean the Brandon Sun is making special efforts to try to elect Liberal candidate Rolf Dinsdale. The wrap on the Sun was a product offering that was available to all other candidates as well. We have also sold advertising to the Conservative Party during the current bi-elections in Manitoba. Conservative Ted Falk has a full panel ad on the front page of this week’s edition of the Steinbach Carillon, in the heart of the Provencher riding which also has a byelection on Monday. Liberal candidate Terry Hayward had the same ad -7-

position last week. This is a regular ad position that we will sell to other advertisers in the future. Incidentally, this ad position is a recent addition to the Carillon. All newspapers are adding new ad positions and offering new ways for advertisers to reach people in what is an increasingly crowded media world where it is more and more difficult to get anyone's attention. Many advertisers have found frontpage positions to be very effective. Lotteries that have used them report jumps in sales on days when they appear. No doubt such effectiveness has aroused new interest in political parties in using newspaper advertising. As a newspaper publisher, I’m happy about that, and happy to have any debates about political advertising that it may spur. Bob Cox was named publisher of the Winnipeg Free Press in November 2007. He joined the newspaper as editor in May 2005. “Rejoined” is a better word for it, because Bob first worked at the newspaper as a reporter in January 1984. He covered crime and courts for three years before getting restless and moving on to other journalism jobs. Source: Newspapers Canada

December 2013


LowDown reporter nabs job at daily Trevor Greenway moving on, but won’t forget Hills’ ‘quirky, eccentric people’ I’ve written a lot of tough articles for the Low Down – everything from murders and drownings to obituaries on prominent Hills folk and many a Rupert Fair. In October, I sat at my half cleaned-out desk and toiled in the trying task of scribing one of the toughest yet: saying goodbye to the many loyal readers of this fine and fantastic rag. It’s not easy to say goodbye to the place you’ve called home for the past five years – the place you’ve grown from a naive Calgarian into a cultured Quebecer (who still hasn’t learned French). It’s the place where I’ve learned how to connect with a community – people I’ve come to be good friends with, people I’ve made angry, people who have both criticized and praised my writing, but most importantly, people who’ve had amazing stories to tell. I still remember the first story I was put on five years ago: covering Ryan Foley as he ripped around the race track in Edelweiss in his homemade race car. As I ran to the middle of the race track and snapped photos of the car zipping past me faster than my shutter speed, I recall feeling so proud to be working for the Low Down – I was proud then and I’m still proud today. It’s true that the Low Down is a stepping-stone job for most serious young reporters. Scribes who learn how to tell a quality story typically move on to bigger media jobs in the city or elsewhere. And although I am also leaving for an opportunity of the same nature (Metro Ottawa), the Low Down has been so much more to me than just a training ground. It’s the place that, sort of, reinvented journalism for me. And I have my subjects to thank for that. I never knew a pet crow could become such a hit on a front page of a December 2013

newspaper, nor did I think a piece on a local cafe’s decision to cut sandwiches from its menu would become such a controversial issue. I never thought I would witness two men save a deer from drowning on the frozen waters of the Gatineau River, and I’ve been surprised on many occasions at how many people have just opened up to tell their stories without hesitation. I’m talking about guys like Sandy Daviau, the multiple sclerosis patient, who allowed me to shoot photos of him smoking marijuana on his property after he was busted with copious amounts of pot; families like the Palmers, who shared the story of their daughter Charis and the struggles they faced growing up with a developmentally disabled child; or how about


the national award-winning series the Low Down did on drinking and driving? Nearly everybody in the community was willing to talk about that boozy elephant in the room. And that’s why the Low Down is and has always been such a great paper – because of the quirky, eccentric people the reporters get to write about. But out of everyone, I owe the most to publisher and friend Nikki Mantell.She saw something in me five years ago that I don’t even think I saw in myself. She took a chance on me, and although I’ve made my share of mistakes, she’s always given me that second chance. She made me a better writer, a better photographer and I’ll miss being around her dedication to quality journalism. Trevor Greenway Photo: Trevor Greenway feels the love at QCNA Awards gala in Montreal 2012. Courtesy Low Down to Hull & Back News.





Newspapers embrace augmented reality Augmented Reality (AR) is being used by newspapers across the country. What is it? How does it work? By downloading an AR app to a mobile device (such as a tablet or smart phone), readers can then use their device to scan AR-enabled print ads and editorial to unlock digital content – a video, an offer, a link and more. This new technology enhances the reader’s experience. AR uses a smartphone’s camera to recognize a specific image—in the case of newspapers, it is the text or image on the page— and then superimposes information over the camera feed. Next, the technology opens related links and content within its app. (This is very different than QR codes, the black and white squares that are often compared to AR. QR codes connect to links on mobile web browsers, not standalone content. In some circles, QR codes are considered passé, even dead technology.) See Story on page 15.

CCNA President meets with Finance Minister On December 9 Canadian Community Newspapers Association president Greg Nesbitt and CCNA corporate secretary Hugh Nicholson met with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and his Chief and Deputy-Chief (CDP) of Staff, to discuss the steep drop in federal spending in our community newspapers. The Minister and his CDP reported that this situation was something they were unaware of. They both reinforced that the government wants to reach all Canadians and community newspapers are an integral part of the

mix. Flaherty promised to bring up with his colleagues at the next cabinet meeting. His two assistants said the mix on a buy is determined at the department level in conjunction with their agency, with the minister signing off on it prior to it going to Cossette for placement. President Nesbitt reported to the Associations that the Minister said they will see that all departments are told to include community newspapers in buys where appropriate.

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December 2013

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Reporting business news – the good and bad By Jim Pumarlo Nearly 50 employees are out of jobs due to the decision of an out-of-state insurance company to close its local office. We caught word of the news through an employee and promptly carried a report. The company never made a public announcement. In contrast, another company with headquarters in Red Wing opened a retail store at the Mall of America 50 miles away. Our staff worked with company representatives to prepare a story before the doors opened. Surprising? Not really. Editors and reporters face the same challenges pursuing stories with “private” officials as they do with “public’ officials. Everyone is eager to share what’s considered good news, but reluctant to talk about bad news. A major difference is that laws generally guarantee the press access to government news, whether it paints a positive or negative picture. For equally sound reasons, the press does not have the same level of access to information on private business. The two examples underscore the challenge of providing consistent and credible business reports. The challenge to improve coverage is a two-way street – a message that editors should deliver to their readers, and specifically to business owners and managers, whenever possible. Most community newspapers devote immense resources to covering local government. But it’s arguable that news about employers – large and small – has even greater meaning. After all, it’s news about friends and neighbors. Business start-ups, acquisitions and expansions, promotions and labor strikes are obvious stories. Other reports can have an impact on a community, too. For example, a contract settlement at a major employer might set the parameters for other employers. It’s understandable why a business is at times hesitant to see its name in the paper. Even good news can backfire. Consider the announcement that a company became a corporate sponsor of a national event. It prompted a local resident to question the December 2013

expense when an employee event was canceled due to an apparent shortage of funds. Just as businesses can feel the sting of what appears to be straightforward reports, newspapers can feel the backlash, too. I recall the time we provided a local angle to the potential impact of legislation on financial institutions. We were able to contact all but one of the local banks. The phone rang the next morning with the question: Why did we snub one of the newspaper’s customers? Editors have a convincing message for underscoring the importance of businesses to talk to the press. Stories straight from the source ensure accurate information that may serve to quash rumors. Trust between writers and news sources is imperative in any reporting, but especially so when issues involve profits and livelihoods. The changing business landscape is another challenge to substantive business reporting. Many newspapers enjoy good relationships with locally owned businesses, but it’s just reality – for a variety of reasons – that it’s more difficult to develop those same ties with companies run by out-

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of-town ownership. Local managers often want to share information, but their hands are tied by corporate policy. The challenge to improve business reporting is reaching a common understanding that reporting on business means covering both the good and bad news. There are a variety of opportunities to underscore the message. Address the issue in a column. Insert a note to advertisers with your invoices. Invite business representatives to a conversation over lunch. Pitch the topic as a program for a local civic club’s meeting. A one-time appearance before the local manufacturers association will not suddenly transform a newspaper’s business coverage of business. But it’s a beginning. Jim Pumarlo writes, speaks and provides training on community newsroom success strategies. He is author of “Journalism Primer: A Guide to Community News Coverage,” “Votes and Quotes: A Guide to Outstanding Election Coverage” and “Bad News and Good Judgment: A Guide to Reporting on Sensitive Issues in SmallTown Newspapers.” He can be reached at www. and welcomes comments and questions at

December 2013

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Lucy leaves The Low, lands at The Metro Becoming a true local

Three years ago, when I decided to leave Nova Scotia to take up a reporting job in Wakefield, a place I had never heard of before reading the Wikipedia description (“a reputation for a somewhat bohemian lifestyle” – it’s pretty accurate), I thought I would stay for a year and move on.

the first of several moves, I thought. Readers of the Low Down were thinking the same thing. After just a year here, people asked me where I was going next. And why wouldn’t they? Low Down reporters usually stick around for a year or two, then move on to bigger dailies or television gigs, or find work abroad. “You came all the way here to work for the Low Down?” some would ask, either laughing in my face or feigning interest. Why, yes. And I’m damn proud I did, thank you. Since starting at the Low Down in October 2010, I’ve covered the colourful characters and the controversial political debates of the Hills. I helped this newspaper win a national award for a drinking and driving series, and worked with an incredibly hardworking crew. I would have bouts of homesickness, but took copies of The Low Down home to Nova Scotia at Christmas to brag about those Lucy Scholey with co-worker Trevor Greenway in the Hills (being careful not to brag field. Both reporters now work at the Ottawa Metro. too much, lest anyone else find out Courtesy Low Down to Hull & Back News. about this oasis.) And then, of course, I got to First car, first “real” job out of university, know many of you. Most of those relationand first out-of-province move. It would be ships were, and still are, professional; but

many are now also personal. People like the Chicoines, a family of eight whose generosity seems to know no bounds, and who can somehow feed everybody who walks through their front door; the Symes, who know everything about music and Farrellton; Chris Marriott of Chelsea, who takes time to talk municipal politics; Gary Dimmock, who always has a scoop; and the Gatineau Valley Historical Society, for digging up photos and information, even on Monday deadline. Then, of course, there’s Low Down publisher Nikki Mantell, who took a chance on an outsider to fill a reporting gig and promptly whipped that outsider into shape. Without her nod of approval, I would not have learned so much about the Gatineau Hills or journalism, or found this really cool place to, dare I say, set down roots. One year in Wakefield quickly became three. And now, yes, I’m also leaving the Low Down. This is my good-bye editorial. But my dreams of living elsewhere? Not happening. I’m in the Gatineau Hills for now, and very happily so. On hearing about my plans to leave The Low Down, but stay in the Hills, a friend said: “Now you’re a local – and not just the local reporter.” Lucy Scholey

QCNA 2014 Better Newspapers Competition Call for Entries Deadline: Midnight Tuesday, January 14, 2014 LINK TO AWARDS COMPETITION WEBSITE:

December 2013

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Vision journalism students fast for typhoon victims by

Laurynn Miller

On November 8 the largest typhoon recorded in history hit the Philippines. The typhoon had winds that were over 275 kilometers per hour and classified as a level

people affected. During the fast students played board games and video games, watched movies, read books, walked around, etc., In other

Fasting gave students a basic idea of what it is like to be deprived of food and clean water during a disaster and, more importantly, gave them the opportunity to raise money for victims of the Haiyan Typhoon. (photo: Laurynn Miller) 5 hurricane, the highest level. Authorities warned that more than 12-million people were affected by this large typhoon, and more than 5,000 people were killed. Since there are still millions of people suffering, our journalism class decided to raise awareness about this tragedy by holding a 12-hour fast on November 29. Nineteen grade 10 and 11 students and two staff members gathered in the Howard S. Billings library on Friday morning, on their day off. Days earlier, students began collecting donations and pledges from fellow students and family members and continued throughout the week. The money will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross, who will put the money towards getting food, medical assistance, fresh water, etc., to the Filipino December 2013

words, they did everything in their power to take their minds off of food. While informing their fellow students about the fundraiser, journalism students faced questions such as, “How will going hungry help those in the Philippines?” “It was important to do this fast because it taught us just how the struggling citizens of the Philippines are living each day, and this is just a fraction of what they are going through.” said Justin Hand-Gregory. “It was important for me to participate in the fast to raise awareness about the Haiyan Typhoon, and to be able to have a hands-on experience while raising money, instead of just collecting charity,” said Brittany Quinsey-Taylor. Jacob Brooker stated, “I believe this fast is for supporting those in the Philippines experiencing difficulty after a typhoon. - 14 -

These people go hours without food after having lost their homes. Fasting for 12-hours shows our support and helps us understand what it feels like to be in their situation, and it helps us gather donations. The most challenging thing was trying to survive without eating. After only three hours of being here, I got hungry.” Although fasters experienced only a very little bit of what the typhoon victims are going through, it was enough to make them aware that going without food for 12-hours is very hard; meanwhile, they had fresh water and juice to drink! Journalism teacher Mr. Neudorfer thinks the experience was a beneficial one to students. “When my journalism students brought up their concern for this environmental tragedy and voiced an effort to do something about it, I supported their attempt to raise money for the victims in the Philippines,” he said. “The fundraising, awareness building, and the fast are all excellent experiences in trying to make an impact in our students’ lives.” Overall, the fast was an amazing experience. It has taught us that we really don’t appreciate what we have until we don’t have any of it left, and that includes food. It is very difficult to understand the struggle people go through unless you’re in their shoes. Even though we only did so for half of a day, it was enough to get an idea of what they must go through. Knowing you have no food to eat and not hing to drink is downright sad, especially for those who have children and family whom they must take care of. The students raised a total of $317. When you send in your donation, the Canadian government will match each amount.

An illustration in a newspaper comes to life, as if by magic. Jessica Napier, Newspapers Canada

What if you didn’t just read your printed newspaper, but truly many people interacted with the ad and what they clicked on,” said experienced it? Publications enhanced with augmented reality are Brouwer. “Clients are now starting to demand this and we know now allowing newspaper readers to experience print in exciting it’s going to accelerate.” Glacier Media became the first newspaper group in the world to new ways; to look past the ink-on-paper surface and access deeper, launch augmented reality to this scale across all of its newsparicher content from their newspapers. During a recent INK+BEYOND session on Layar technology, pers. “There is a steep learning curve so we’re definitely making Alvin Brouwer, Glacier Media’s president of lower mainland pub- mistakes, but it’s a process,” said Brouwer. “Our sales people are lishing and digital, described newspapers as the world’s first truly selling these ads and generating revenue on this new technology. interactive media. “They exist across multiple platforms, offering Glacier hasn’t hired any new sales or editorial staff members to sell or create the Layar enabled print content. print, audio, video, digital, broadcasting, social “It’s easy to understand, clients get it and it’s and ecommerce services to its increasingly dia natural extension of our current strategy,” verse audiences.” Brouwer was joined by Nisaid Brouwer. “You don’t have to hire digital gel Newton from Layar, the world’s leading people to do this; it’s an easy transition.” augmented reality brand, to show delegates “People would rather Brouwer and Newton showed delegates how this new technology can help newspapers leave their home without some creative examples of how publications to increase engagement, improve utility, genertheir wallet than have incorporated AR technology in their ate new revenue and tell a better story. editorial content with Layar. Front pages that Newspaper readers are no longer simply read- their smartphone so it’s come to life with audio, entertainment feaers. They want to be able to interact with edinot hard to ask readers tures can include movie trailers and previews, torial and advertising content. They are viewand sports content can link to current scores ers, listeners, consumers, engagers and buyers to use their smartphones and photo galleries. and all of these different functions can be fa- while reading The AR functions for advertisers are numercilitated in print by augmented reality technolous and provide an excellent opportunity for ogy. Layar can allow print newspaper readers the newspaper.” creativity. Clients can link to existing tube to connect their digital lives with the physical commercials, provide coupons for download, world. link to ecommerce site or a Google map for “We are pioneering the interactive print location details, provide a preview of a resmovement and paving the way for a more robust future for the publishing industry in a digital age.” explained taurant menu, or allow users to make reservations online or conNewton. Unlike QR codes, Layar is much more experiential and tact the service provider immediately by clicking on an embedded valuable. Readers can scan any Layar-enabled newspaper page phone number. Brad Alden, publisher of the NOW newspaper group in B.C., also with their smartphone and access a variety of additional content shared his experiences with delegates. “We’ve including video, ebeen doing it for three months; it’s a slow and commerce, social mesteady ramp up and continues to grow week afdia sharing options and ter week.” photo galleries. “It’s a Building an audience for Layar is going to be brand extension for adcrucial for its future success. “People would vertisers that is really rather leave their home without their wallet than easy to sell and really their smartphone so it’s not hard to ask readers to easy to create,” said use their smartphones while reading the newspaBrouwer. “It has the per,” said Brouwer.User adoption is a two-step potential to be a game process; publications must compel the reader to changer.” download the app and then engage the reader One of the many benwith the content. efits of Layar enabled “Once users get on board and see how much content is the valuable value they can get out of it, then they’ll sticks metrics newspapers with it,” said Newton. “This is an exciting new can collect from readera for the print medium; Layar enhanced coners and share with their tent can extend the experience beyond the page advertisers and editorial teams. Every single ad can be measured and give newspa- relevant and rewarding ways.” pers a real insight into how audiences are consuming the printed product. “We can go back to the client and tell them exactly how December 2013

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