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President’s Report



Executive Director’s Report

8 Awards Short List


The Connect r Since 1980

March 2013

The Road to Aylmer


Canada’s Newspapers enduring, evolving p10 Take Inventory of your newspapers p11

The Nation turns twenty Selling ads and shiny objects p12



QCNA news, Industry News, Ink & Beyond, CCNA The Quebec Community Newspapers Association Newsletter Connecting the English community press in Quebec for 33 years


Internships represent a potential wealth of talent Steve Bonspiel, President, QCNA


CNA newspaper publishers, myself included, like two things above all else: Free labour. Extra help. It’s not that we’re penny-pinchers - though some would beg to differ – it has to do with these tough economic times. We’re always looking for an extra edge, trying to find more and more ways to stay relevant and be successful. Let’s be honest even when we come out of the recession a community newspaper is not a moneymaker by any means. However, one way to help us out and to foster tomorrow’s journalists is through a unique internship program, in conjunction with Concordia University and the QCNA, that allows us to assess and evaluate new talent while providing important experience to aspiring Woodwards and Bernsteins. They come from the four-year program, trying to get their collective feet in the door, or from the one-year diploma program (where the students are known as Dips), and they come to the paper with life experience and varying levels of reporting and writing skills. The Eastern Door is one of the few newspapers that takes advantage of this program, and more QCNA papers should push to incorporate it. For some it’s because of the distance to major cities and universities. The ones closest to Ottawa and Montreal, for example, have the best chance to take advantage of a program like this. Although it only exists in an organized fashion at Concordia right now, there is always the possibility to include other universities and newspapers further away from the Montreal area. Maybe that means rural areas can house a student for an internship for a month instead of a week, which would provide a much more enriched experience for the student. March 2013

After all, from the internship program comes a host of new opportunities for English-speaking students, and our job as an English-language association is to look to the future and lend a helping hand. If I look at our situation here at The Eastern Door, one of our reporters, Daniel Rowe, came from the Dip program. He has quickly ascended and has become quite familiar with the community in the year he’s been here. He started out as an intern and his work ethic and writing skills are a large part of what makes our paper strong. QCNA Executive Director Richard Tardif was our Assistant Editor for years and he started out as an intern at The Eastern Door. He too quickly worked his way up the ladder, becoming a fixture in the community at sporting events and other community functions. So the message for students out there is there certainly is a chance to grow with us, sometimes at a quicker than usual pace. Whether it’s being in the right place at the right time or simply showing an editor he/ she cannot live without you as part of the staff, it is up to you, the student, to give us everything you have. The success of the internship program demonstrates there is a golden opportunity for those who want to work hard in this field. Working at a community paper also gives them a different outlook on the craft, away from the mainstream drone of fetching coffee and cold calling potentials for a story. It puts them in the middle of the action, and it forces them to jump out of their comfort zone, practicing a kind of journalism they won’t see in the mainstream. In fact many mainstream journalists got their start at a community newspaper, so that shows there is a real potential for individual growth. - 2-

BOARD OF DIRECTORS STEVE BONSPIEL President, CCNA representative MARC LALONDE Vice President GEORGE BAKOYANNIS Secretary,Treasurer, CCNA representative HEATHER DICKSON Director FRED RYAN Director MICHAEL SOCHACZEVSKI Director NIKKI MANTELL Director LILY RYAN Director QCNA STAFF RICHARD TARDIF Executive Director CAROLYN KITZANUK Administrative Assistant MARNIE OWSTON Advertising Coordinator & Bookkeeper

Executive Director’s Report

Time flies when you’re having fun

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.


Richard Tardif, Executive Director, QCNA

s I begin my outline to prepare to write my E.D. report the old saying, “where does the time go,” crept into my thoughts. This is the fifth Connector report I’ve written as Executive Director of the QCNA, and frankly there isn’t enough space to fully write about our association and all its members. Previous reports have touched on what our members are doing, where they are moving and what they are up to, and of course, our members have contributed to The Connector, for which we are eternally grateful. When I was given the role of Executive Director in February of 2012, I set out on different objectives. The incremental changes that have led up to this year – more on site meetings with member newspapers, an open and fostering line of communications, regional representation at the provincial and federal level - are the steps that have prepared us for moving ahead. QCNA leaps into social media We took the leap and created our own Facebook page and Twitter account. We are slowly building our audience and looking ahead to the future. Future social media may include a QCNA linkedIn page. A new website We are working on it, and plans to unveil our interactive, hands on and easy March 2013

to navigate site is scheduled for May or September. QCNA submits brief on Bill 14 In February of this year, the QCNA submitted to the National Assembly of Quebec’s Committee on Culture and Education outlining our opposition to the Quebec government’s proposed Bill 14, an Act to amend the Charter of the French language, the Charter of human rights and freedoms and other legislative provisions. Better Newspapers Competition The excitement is already building. Our newspapers have submitted their best work, our journalists and graphic designers have submitted and the judges have rendered their decisions. The short list of the top three nominations has been mass e-mailed, and the invites have gone out. All that is left is to show up at the Gala on May 31 in Aylmer, Quebec. Not so fast! QCNA staff is hard at work preparing and working out all the details, double checking and ensuring that all goes well.

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 700,000 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.

Quebec Community Newspapers Association 400 Grand Boulevard, Suite 5 Île-Perrot, QC, J7V 4X2 Tel. 514-453-6300 Fax 514-453-6330 Email: Website:

QCNA acknowledges the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage

Next time we meet? The QCNA Board of Directors and myself will see you at the Awards and Gala on May 31 in Aylmer, Quebec. My fedora is ready! -3-

Quebec Community Newspapers Association L’Association des journaux régionaux du Québec

33rd Annual Better Newspapers Awards & Gala 2013 May 31, 2013 Aylmer, Quebec, Chateau Cartier

(10 minutes from Ottawa)

Cocktails 6-7 p.m. Gala ands Awards ceremony 7-9:30 p.m. 1170 Chemin d’Aylmer Gatineau, QC J9H 7L3 Tel: (800) 807-1088 Tel: 514-453-6300 March 2013



The Road to Aylmer QCNA’s annual general meeting and awards gala will be taking place on Friday, May 31, 2013, at the Chateau Cartier Hotel in Gatineau, Quebec. A morning AGM will take place at 10 a.m. followed by a 1 p.m. Publisher’s Roundtable. A cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. banquet. And of course, the awards gala where QCNA members celebrate the best of the best! Keep checking QCNA’s website php?page=awards More details coming in the new year. QAHN PROJECT USES FIRST EDITION COPY OF QUEBEC GAZETTE A photo of a copy of the first edition of the Quebec Gazette, published on June 21, 1764, the forerunner of the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, was selected by Rachel Garber of QAHN (Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network) as one of the 100 objects that mark the history of Quebec. The project, ‘Significant Objects for Telling Identity (SOFTI): English-speaking Quebec through 100 Cultural Artefacts, is supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage. Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph will be celebrating its 250th anniversary in 2014. GREEK CANADIAN NEWS GOES WEEKLY The Greek Canadian News, has gone weekly (was previously biweekly) effective February 2, 2013, making it the largest Greek publication published in Canada with 10,000 copies distributed throughout the metropolitan region of Montreal and its suburbs. March 2013

QCNA members judge for other Associations QCNA wants to thank all those QCNA members who over the years have volunteered to judge for other regional associations across Canada for their respective better newspapers competitions, in particular: The Eastern Door’s Steve Bonspiel – OCNA; The Laval News’s George Guzmas – OCNA; The Low Down to Hull & Back News’s Lucy Scholey – CCNA; QCT’s Shirley Nadeau – Newspapers Atlantic; QCNA’s Marnie Owston – Newspapers Atlantic; QCNA’s Richard Tardif – OCNA; The Suburban’s Anthony Bonaparte -Newspapers Atlantic, MCNA; The Suburban’s Sari Medicoff – Newspapers Atlantic; Your Local Journal’s Carmen Marie Fabio – OCNA, Newspapers Atlantic.

Without the help of volunteer judges like you, there would not be any awards competitions. Thank you for keeping the awards competitions across the country alive and well! Our apologies if we’ve missed anyone – please contact the QCNA office and we’ll be sure to include you in a future issue of the Connector.


Thirteen residents of the riding of Laval-Les Îles who have made important contributions to the community over the years received some recognition from NDP MP François Pilon at Laval City Hall on February 2, 2013, when he presented each of them with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Among those receiving one of the unique medallions struck for the 60th anniversary of the coronation of the Queen was George Bakoyannis, publisher of the Laval News and QCNA’s Treasurer and long-time Board member. Bakoyannis, who co-founded The Laval News in 1993 with the newspaper’s coowner and editor George Guzmas, said he was “humbled” and “I just don’t feel that I deserve it. I think I should have done more for this honour. It’s a great honour and I’m very thankful. This is definitely more than I expected. It gives me a warm feeling to know that people think I’m doing a decent job and recognizing me for it with this.”


On February 13, 2013, Quebec ChronicleTelegraph’s senior writer, Marie White, received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from Chief René Gros-Louis, the chief of family health and education of the Huron-Wendat nation at a private ceremony held at the Huron-Wendat Administrative Building. Marie received this honour for her many years of contributing to the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph and for her work promoting and honoring a community in Canada, notably the First Nations and especially the local Huron-Wendats in Wendake. Congratulations, Marie! -5-

More Q-NEWS EASTERN DOOR’S SASHA DEER HAS BABY BOY Congratulations to The Eastern Door’s Sasha Deer and her partner, former Eastern Door reporter, Jordan Standup on the birth of their first child, a little boy, Kingston, born on February 25, 2013 at a wonderful 7.3 pounds and 11:25 a.m. Everyone is doing well!

GIB McINNIS, NEW WRITER AT QCT Quebec ChronicleTelegraph recently announced that Gib McInnis had joined its paper as a writer. McInnis recently moved back to Quebec City from Sherbrooke, where he had been writing for The Sherbrooke Record.

Main Street launches Facebook page

Start saving your ‘best 2013 work’ with SCRAPBOOKS

NORTH SHORE NEWS NOW IN 132 DISTRIBUTION POINTS The North Shore News started distributing across the following North Shore municipalities through the Diffumag network in 132 distribution points: Deux Montagnes, Saint-Eustache, Bois des Filions, SainteMarthe sur le Lac, Pointe-Calumet, Blainville, Boisbriand, Rosemere, Lorraine and Sainte-Therese.

A handy free feature at the ‘betternewspapercontest’ website - Just click on ‘Access Your Scrapbooks’ (right-hand side) to log in and create and manage your own scrapbook account. Simply follow the instructions/prompts. With this new tool you create and manage your own Scrapbooks, or cloud-based storage folders, where you can save contest-worthy material throughout the year. Both attachments and URL web addresses can be saved in Scrapbooks, and contestants can access their Scrapbooks during the entry process. Stay ahead of the game by saving your best articles / photos / ads throughout the year for QCNA’s Better Newspapers Competition 2014! Feel free to contact the QCNA office if you have any questions – 514-453-6300.

QCNA attends CBC panel Living English

Kevin Tierney (left), Terry Mosher and PQ Minister JeanFrançois Lisée (right) at NDG’s Crowley Centre during CBC’s Living English panel. Photo by Richard Tardif

Emotions ran high, sometimes very high, on February 21 Thursday night at NDG’s Crowley Centre during CBC’s Living English panel and public event over the future of Quebec, specifically the future of English in Quebec. PQ Minister Jean-François Lisée (Minister Responsible for Anglophone Affairs), Anne-France Goldwater (Canadian lawyer and television personality), Terry Mosher (Aislin of the Montreal Gazette), Tamy Emma Pepin (Huffington Post), John Stokes and Kevin Tierney (producer Bon Cop, Good Cop) gathered to speak about the core and diverse language issues over identity in the province. March 2013


More Q-NEWS Local newspapers, Chateauguay help to revive Vision student newspaper The student newspaper and QCNA member, Vision, of Howard S. Billings High School in Chateauguay received double reinforcement in December from two prominent supporters. The City of Chateauguay and Le Soleil newspaper now host Vision on their websites following two separate agreements. The move will greatly increase visibility of the newspaper as it will provide a direct link to the current issue, as well as to archived editions free of charge. With the new partnership Vision hopes to increase its audience and advertising base and continue to provide English speaking citizens with original content in the community paper. In addition to providing a link to the virtual newspaper, Le Soleil will also include occasional articles and photos from Billings’ journalism students on a blog at in coming weeks. After a meeting in January, Le Soleil’s Information Director Michel Thibault stated in an article that the initiative is aimed at supporting the mission of the journalism class at the school, training the next generation and providing a forum for teens. Vision Project Manager Mary Leblanc said she is thrilled with the support the Chateauguay community, both English and French speaking, has provided in the past year. With the paper slated to close last year, the involvement proves the value that is put on English journalism, according to Leblanc.

The Concordian PUCbeq Regional Spring 2013 Conference QCNA President and Eastern Door publisher Steve Bonsiel (left) and Vincent Larouche, La Presse, on March 23, 2013 spoke to students at the The Concordian PUCbeq Regional Spring 2013 Conference in Montreal.

Photo by Richard Tardif

Bonspiel and Larouche spoke about their experiences as investigative reporters, the ups and downs, and experiences related to uncovering the story. The annual series heard from reporters documenting history as it happens at the Charbonneau Commission, the backstory to articles that make us question the systems around us. Fashion reporters also shared their experiences from inside the cut-throat world of the Montreal fashion industry.

QCNA newspapers rank high in CCNA awards The Suburban, Low Down from Hull & Back News, The Eastern Door and a former Eastern Door intern were honoured in their respective categories at this year’s Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA) awards. Beryl Wajsman of The Suburban in Montreal won top award in the Best National Editorial, circulation 10,000 and over. For Best Editorial Page, General Excellence, circulation 25,000 and over, The Suburban finished second, behind Stoney Creek News from Ontario. Anthony Bonaparte from The Suburban placed third for Best Local Cartoon, circulation 10,000 and over. For Best Feature Series, circulation up to 3,999 The Low Down

March 2013

to Hull & Back News, Wakefield/Gatineau Hills in Quebec nailed top prize. The Eastern Door won second place in the General Excellence, circulation 1,250 to 1999 for Best All-Round Newspaper. Former Eastern Door intern Meagan Wohlberg from the Northern Journal in Fort Smith/Fort Chipewyan placed second in Best Environmental Writing, circulation up to 9,999 The annual awards program features 33 unique categories honouring outstanding editorial, photography, multimedia and overall excellence in community newspaper publishing. The 2013 competition saw over 250 non-daily publications from coast-to-coast submit 2,222 entries representing their best work from 2012. This year’s new category for News Feature Photography received 110 entries. To view all the entries click CCNA



Writer’s Awards B1 Best News Story (28 entries) Greenway, Trevor – The Low Down to Hull & Back News Parry, James – Your Local Journal Scholey, Lucy – The Low Down to Hull & Back News B2 Best Feature Story (26 entries) Bonspiel, Steve – The Eastern Door German, Amy – The Nation Rennie, Sarah – The Gleaner B3 Best Business Story (22 entries) Greenway, Trevor – The Low Down to Hull & Back News Scholey, Lucy – The Low Down to Hull & Back News Staniforth, Jesse – The Nation Honourable Mention: Della Posta, Mark - The Nation B4 Best Investigative or In-Depth Reporting (14 entries) Bonspiel, Steve; Norton, Timmy The Eastern Door Greenway, Trevor; Scholey, Lucy The Low Down to Hull & Back News Stitt, Julielee - The Equity B5 Best Sports Story (14 entries) Cranfield, Andrea - The Equity Merkle, Bethann G. - Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph Scholey, Lucy - The Low Down to Hull & Back News B6 Best Arts and Entertainment Story (32 entries) Jantak, John - Your Local Journal Siberok, Martin - The Nation Stitt, Julielee - The Equity Honourable Mention: Rennie, Sarah The Gleaner & Barry, Martin C. The Laval News March 2013

B7 Best Column Writing (16 entries) Greenway, Trevor - The Low Down to Hull & Back News Kataquapit, Xavier - The Nation Stewart, Lyle - The Nation

B14 Best Education Story (23 entries) Lemieux, François - The Chronicle Staniforth, Jesse - The Nation Stitt, Julielee - The Equity

B8 Best Business Column or Feature (6 entries) Campbell, Scott - Pontiac Journal du Pontiac Rennie, Sarah - The Gleaner Scholey, Lucy - The Low Down to Hull & Back News

B15 Best Agricultural Story (14 entries) Fourneaux, Alyssa - Quebec Farmers’ Advocate Scholey, Lucy - The Low Down to Hull & Back News Villemaire, Claudia - Quebec Farmers’ Advocate

B9 Best Editorial (local affairs) (16 entries) David, Daniel - The Nation Nicholls, Will - The Nation Ryan, Fred – The West Quebec Post B10 Bob Phillips Award for the Best Editorial (general) (13 entries) Nicholls, Will - The Nation Ryan, Fred - The West Quebec Post Wajsman, Beryl - The Suburban B11 Best Headline Writing (8 entries) Cranfield, Andrea - The Equity Fabio, Carmen Marie - Your Local Journal Lahtinen, Martti - The Low Down to Hull & Back News B12 Best French-language News Story (5 entries) Filion, Sylvie - Bulletin d’Aylmer Laflamme, Patrice - The Gleaner Levy, Elias - The Canadian Jewish News B13 Best French-language Editorial /Column (5 entries) Bertrand, Carolle - Bulletin d’Aylmer Filion, Sylvie - Bulletin d’Aylmer Macron, André - Pontiac Journal du Pontiac -8-

B16 Best Environmental Story (18 entries) Cabana, Marie-Claude - Westmount Examiner Cranfield, Andrea - The Equity Scholey, Lucy - The Low Down to Hull & Back News B17 Best Municipal / Civic Affairs Story (22 entries) Barry, Martin C. – The Laval News Greenway, Trevor - The Low Down to Hull & Back News Lowrie, Morgan – Westmount Examiner B18 Best Community Health Story (19 entries) Cranfield, Andrea – The Equity Greenway, Trevor – The Low Down to Hull & Back News Nadeau, Shirley – Quebec ChronicleTelegraph

Continued on page 9

Best Overall Newspapers Awards Al Best Overall Newspaper (13 entries) The Eastern Door The Low Down to Hull & Back News The Suburban A2 Best Front Page (9 entries) The Equity The Low Down to Hull & Back News Westmount Examiner A3 Best Editorial Page (10 entries) The Eastern Door Pontiac Journal du Pontiac The Suburban A4 Best Feature Page (9 entries) The Eastern Door The Equity The Low Down to Hull & Back News A5 Best Sports Page(s) (6 entries) The Eastern Door The Low Down to Hull & Back News The Suburban

A6 Best Special Section (12 entries) The Canadian Jewish News The Nation Pontiac Journal du Pontiac Honorable Mention: Bulletin d’Aylmer A7 Best Community Newspaper Promotion (6 entries) The Eastern Door Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph The Suburban A8 Best Ad (10 entries) The Eastern Door The Suburban Your Local Journal A9 Best Website (5 entries) The Canadian Jewish News The Laval News The Low Down to Hull & Back News

Photography Awards B19Best News Photo (18 entries) Fabio, Carmen Marie - Your Local Journal Merkle, Bethann G. - Quebec ChronicleTelegraph Stewart, Lyle - The Nation B20 Best Feature Photo (19 entries) Greenway, Trevor - Low Down toHull & Back News Nicholls, Will - The Nation Stitt, Julielee - The Equity

-The Equity & Lafleur, Kaigh-Anne - Pontiac Journal du Pontiac B22 Best Photo Essay (16 entries) Macron, André; Morrisson, Rhonda; Clouthier, Jess; Zimmerling, Bonnie - Pontiac Journal du Pontiac Papadopoulos, Dimitri - The Laval News Rennie, Sarah; Larue, Genevieve - The Gleaner

B21 Best Sports Photo (13 entries) Amyot, Rob - The Chronicle Merkle, Bethann G. - Quebec ChronicleTelegraph Soong, Andrew - The Suburban Honourable Mention: Cranfield, Andrea

Best Editorial Cartoon B23 Best Editorial Cartoon (3 entries) Bonaparte, Anthony - The Suburban Elie, Pascal - The Westmount Examiner Roach, Stan - The Chronicle

Best Graphic Design B24 Best Advertising Creation (16 entries) Athanasatos, Louis – The Chronicle Viau, Charles – Bulletin d’Aylmer Viau, Charles – The West Quebec Post

QCNA Better Newspapers Awards & Gala Friday, May 31, 2013 Aylmer, Quebec at the Chateau Cartier Hotel March 2013


Canada’s Newspapers: Enduring and Evolving


ollowing his $140 million purchase of a group of US daily and community newspapers, American billionaire Warren Buffet heralded the enduring importance of newspapers in local communities. “In towns and cities where there is a strong sense of community, there is no more important institution than the local paper,” he said. And while this might be true, newspapers are not only continuing to serve communities, but we are also creating them. In their digital forms, newspapers have the capacity to extend their reach beyond the mailbox or newsstand and connect with readers far and wide by delivering content directly into their homes and pockets. Increasingly readers are coming to newspapers not because of geography, but because of compelling content and a desire for high-quality, intelligent journalism. Buffet isn’t ignoring the opportunities presented by newspaper brands and, at the same time, we aren’t ignoring the challenges of a changing industry. As competition from online news sources grows, some individuals have prophesized about the impending death of so-called “traditional” newspapers. But of course, there is a reason why moving pictures didn’t replace theatre, why television didn’t kill the radio and why online news will never eradicate print. One medium--no matter how fast or free it might be--does not replace another. Newspapers welcome competition from other media—it is this competition that forces us to get better. More news sources improve the level of discourse across a variety of platforms and encourage all news outlets to become more accountable in our reporting, more nimble in our management strategies and ultimately, inspire us to provide more relevant and engaging content to our readers. March 2013

by Jessica Napier Newspapers aren’t disappearing; they’re newspapers are encountering obstacles evolving. And part of our ongoing evolu- along the way. With exciting innovation tion means getting a makeover. In print, and growth comes moments of uncertainty. newspapers are borrowing design ideas These challenges are being met head on from magazines and blogs to create excit- with new revenue generating strategies, ing new visual experiencrestructuring indicatives es. We’re improving paper and cost-cutting measures. stock, getting brighter, But while media organiglossier and bolder in our Not only are news- zations may be reducing design. The ubiquity and papers improving legacy costs and streamlinimmediacy of digital news ing newsroom operations, means that newspapers the way we look, good journalism from a reare rethinking the nature but also the way we liable source is more priceof the printed product and less than ever before. From act... the possibilities it holds. small-town news to global With so much opportunity event coverage, newspafor creativity, print publipers—in their many shapes cations are becoming tanand forms—continue to gible, beautiful pieces of artwork that not deliver for our readers. Research shows only inform, but also look attractive on a that 77 percent of Canadians read a daily coffee table. or a community paper every week (in print Not only are newspapers improving the or online). way we look, but also the way we act. PubStrong national brands and trusted comlications are experimenting with new forms munity publications will thrive as long as of reporting and embracing digital content we continue to deliver authentic and relplatforms to bring our journalism to life evant journalism to our readers and proand create even more value for our online vide unique and creative solutions for our audiences. Online curation platforms and advertisers. The devices might change the live-blogging services help us to test out way we exchange information, but the new interactive methods of storytelling foundations upon which newspapers are and package news in an entirely new way. built remain solid. The desire to share inNot only are we putting out better, more formation and stories with one another will in depth journalism, but social network- always be there. Is it any wonder that we ing sites have radically altered the way we now access our news of the day on a “tabshare these news stories. Sites like Twitter let,” a name that harkens back to an age in and Facebook allow us to collect valuable which humans communicated their stories feedback on our content and are helping us through stone engravings? to create a dynamic dialogue between our Today’s newspapers possess the strength readers and our journalists. We are more and endurance of stone combined with the accountable, more engaging and more infinite possibilities of digital communicacomprehensive in our news delivery than tions. ever before. As with any transformational period, Source: Newspapers Canada -10 -

Take inventory of your newspapers

Here’s an action item for your next newsroom meeting: Ask reporters to identify the community newsmakers. Better yet, bring a stack of newspapers from the last couple of months and circle the newsmakers receiving attention in words and photos. Several individuals are likely to be on the list, no matter the community: for example, the mayor and city council president; the superintendent and school board chair; the county’s chief administrator and the county board chair; local legislators; the heads of key local commissions and task forces. And these folks probably appear with some regularity. You get the drift. Newsrooms by and large do a commendable job of writing for the source, especially when it comes to public affairs reporting. Public officials speak, and their statements are recorded. Their comments should be given proper notice. At the same time, newspapers are shortchanging their readers – their customers – if they do not expand their definition of and explore the range of newsmakers. In other words, spend time to identify the players at the core of community conversations. For example: A city council debates the merits of March 2013

building a skateboard park. Reporters capture the flavour of the public hearings where proponents and opponents step to the microphone. The comments of the planning commission and city council members are recorded as they cast their final votes. But have you gone beyond the meetings? Have you taken the time to observe youths doing skateboard tricks on the downtown sidewalks, navigating their way among pedestrians? Have you asked business owners and pedestrians – some who may be annoyed by the youths, some who sympathize with the lack of a park – on the pluses and minuses of creating a park? Have you talked with the parents of the kids? Today’s challenging media landscape demands that editors and reporters thoroughly examine their coverage and ask the question: Are we relevant to our readers? Are our news columns dominated by the same set of newsmakers, or are we digging beneath the surface to identify the full cast of characters? Are we writing our stories for the individuals at the top, or tail end, of the news pyramid without giving proper attention to everyone else in the pyramid whose actions collectively represent the full dynamics of a story? This exercise of scrutinizing coverage goes beyond examining the meetings of local governing bodies. Editors and reporters should regularly brainstorm all aspects of everyday coverage. It can be as easy as tracking down and inserting other voices beyond what is forwarded in a press release or presented at an event. Consider a big-box retailer that opens as the anchor of a new strip mall on the edge of town. What’s the anticipated impact on the downtown shopping district? Will the discount store strengthen the city as a re- 11 -

By Jim Pumarlo gional retail center? Gaining these perspectives is just as important as recording the welcoming comments of the mayor at the grand opening. In addition, the stories provide many new faces and names beyond the traditional newsmakers. Here’s a challenge the next time your staff is brainstorming coverage for a story of community significance. Reporters are certain to rattle off the usual lineup of individuals to solicit perspectives. Some may be appropriate and, indeed, mandatory to contact. But don’t adjourn your session until you’ve come up with at least a handful of individuals who rarely, if ever, are mentioned in your newspaper. Make it a priority to seek their opinions and you’ll likely pick up some new readers. Jim Pumarlo writes, speaks and provides training on Community Newsroom Success Strategies. His newest book is “Journalism Primer: A Guide to Community News Coverage for Beginning and Veteran Journalists.” He also is author of “Votes and Quotes: A Guide to Outstanding Election Coverage” and “Bad News and Good Judgment: A Guide to Reporting on Sensitive Issues in a Small-Town Newspaper.” He can be contacted at and welcomes comments and questions at

We’re on Facebook and Twitter. How do I find QCNA on Facebook? If you’re already set up with a Facebook account, simply head to our Facebook page, click the ‘like’ button to become a fan of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association and, if you like, leave us a comment on the wall. Make sure you check back to the page often, as we’ll be posting news about our newspapers, events and industry news.

20 years at The Nation The Nation Staff

T Want to follow us on Twitter visit @QCNA. If you have an account, all you need to do is follow us by clicking the ‘follow’ button. If you don’t have an account, they’re free and quick to set up; just visit Twitter’s website and follow the instructions. You’ll be tweeting to us in no time.

March 2013

o commemorate this historic occasion, The Nation has embarked on a retrospective countdown to its 20th Anniversary in November 2013. From the first issue of the Volume 20 series until issue No. 26, the Nation Flashbacks feature some of the Nation’s stories, photos and award winning coverage throughout the years, and will be compiled in a special 20th collector’s edition issue. The concept behind The Nation Flashbacks is to promote and remind our readers and advertisers of the impact that the Nation has had on the Cree communities and James Bay Territory throughout the years. It is also a cost effective way of commemorating the occasion and to get readers and advertisers involved and energized about our publication. The Nation Flashbacks are presented as a centre spread, on glossy paper, and each are sponsored by various companies. The Flashback features are also promoted on the Nation’s website and Facebook page. The website and Facebook posts add a dynamic element to this print initiative as they link directly to the sponsors’ websites. A quarter of the spread is dedicated to our sponsor, offering them the opportunity to promote their organization in 150 words, with their logo, web address and a QR code leading to their website. The centre spreads are easy to remove from the print issue and to collect as mini booklets. -12 -

The Nation is also taking this opportunity to engage the readers contest in the 20th Anniversary festivities. In the coming months, we will be holding a ‘Are you a Nation collector?” where we will invite our readers to send us images or videos of their collections via our website, Facebook page and email. Having seen and heard of our avid readers’ collections (we know of a collector whose basement walls are completely plastered with The Nation’s covers… surely there are more) this promotion promises to be interactive and dynamic. As of now, we have received a lot of positive feedback from our readers and advertisers. We have increased the number of hits on our website by an average of 500 a month, and increased our number of Facebook fans by over 180. We are excited and hopeful that the momentum will keep building and that we will achieve all of our goals in terms of increasing our visibility, and creating a dynamic and interactive exchange with our readers and advertisers. Stay tuned for all of the developments, and if you or any organization you know would like to support this initiative, please contact news@beesum-communications. com . Meegwetch!

Selling ads in a world of bright shiny objects


By John Foust, Raleigh, NC

eet Erica, a veteran of many years of sales presentations. “There’s a lot of talk these days about people who are drawn to Bright Shiny Objects,” she told me. “In most cases, that’s a reference to consumers rushing to purchase the newest technical gadget, even if their older version works just fine. But in reality, Bright Shiny Objects can refer to anything new and different. “One of the lessons I’ve learned over the years,” she said, “is that some people are restless. For whatever reason – desire for novelty, competition with peer groups, or plain old boredom – they are always on the lookout for new things. In the business world, they are constantly trying new procedures, new initiatives, new vendors – even new employees. If the new thing works, fine. If not, there’s always another new thing around the corner.” Erica explained that she looks for evidence of the Bright Shiny Object syndrome. For example, is an advertiser always considering new themes or media plans? Are marketing proposals requested frequently? Has he or she ever tried to shorten a long-term ad contract? Does the account seem to have a new ad agency – and a tweaked brand identity – every year? “These are signs of someone who likes Bright Shiny Objects,” she said. “So I build my presentations around newness. Of course, I mention my paper’s stability in being around for a long time, but I put a lot of emphasis on the new things we have to offer.” That’s a solid sales strategy. Let’s take a closer look: New information “Like any good sales person, I ask a lot of questions, Erica said. “There’s a lot of truth in the old saying, ‘knowledge is power.’ The only thing I can learn by talkMarch 2013

ing is that I might be talking too much.” She is consistently looking for new information about her advertisers. What are their thoughts on their current marketing? What are they considering for the future? What information can she provide that might be of help? New products A new product – whether it’s a special section, a snazzy addition to your web site, or a social media feature – is an authentic Bright Shiny Object. Existing products. Does your paper have a new print-

ing process? (That can mean better color and faster turnaround.) Do you have access to new market research? (Better targeting.) Have creative capabilities been improved? (Additional design staff, recent creative awards, etc.) John Foust has conducted training programs for thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Many ad departments are using his training videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. E-mail for information:

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World Press Freedom Day World Press Freedom Day recognizes the sacrifices made in the struggle for freedom of the press and to pressure governments that continue to deny their citizens this basic human right.


New fact sheet: The Strength of Canadian Newspapers

The latest research shows that Canadians love newspapers and are reading news media six times a day across multiple platforms: print, online, tablet and smartphone devices. Newspapers Canada’s latest Newspapers Work fact sheet highlights some of the compelling research about the strength of the newspaper industry. The one-page document provides a variety of fast facts about Canadian newspaper readership and can downloaded and circulated. See Fact Sheet Canadian Association of Journalists’ 2013 conference The conference is scheduled to run from Friday, May 3, to Sunday, May 5, at the Westin Hotel Ottawa. A conference rate has also been set with the Westin. The hotel web page also has information on other options for accommodation near the conference venue. “The annual conference is our premiere event, providing an opportunity for professional development and networking at a reasonable cost,” CAJ president Hugo Rodrigues said. “The conference is capped by our annual CAJ Awards gala where we honour the best in Canadian journalism and hand out Canada’s top investigative journalism prize, the Don McGillivray Award.”


OCNA launches new Digital Media Study for community newspapers The Ontario Community Newspapers Association (OCNA) has released a new Digital Media Study concerned with community newspaper publishing in Canada and the United States. The report identifies various ways in which independent community newspapers can achieve significant growth in their online advertising revenues. The study also includes a best practices overview in the areas of contests, couponing and co-op advertising, as well as a digital dashboard to assist community newspapers measure their progress in growing their digital ventures The Digital Media Study, which was conducted by Borrell Associates and partially funded by the Collective Initiatives program at Canadian Heritage, is the first phase in a two phase project being undertaken by the OCNA. Data from the study will be utilized by the association in the development of the second phase – the creation of a website template that will be offered to OCNA member newspapers. sites/default/files/Digital%20Market%20Study%20OCNA.pdf

The May 3 message is that journalists everywhere must be granted the right to report freely and without fear. The date marks the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of principles drawn up by African journalists in 1991 calling for a free, independent and pluralistic media on that continent and throughout the world. The Declaration affirms that a free press is essential to the existence of democracy and a fundamental human goal. The Declaration is a milestone in the struggle for a free press in all regions of the world.

Reporters Without Borders is one of the world’s leading independent organisations dedicated to promoting and defending freedom of information. Thanks to its network of active correspondents in over 150 countries, Reporters Without Borders strives daily to maintain a free press in every corner of the globe.

On May 1-3, 2013, Newspapers Canada will partner with the Canadian Association of Journalists to host Canada’s Canada’s 94th annual newspaper conference at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa. Hundreds of delegates from daily and community newspapers will congregate in the nation’s capital to enjoy two full days of inspiring speakers, educational workshops, networking opportunities and award presentations. The 2013 conference program will cover every aspect of the newspaper business with sessions designed for all departments including editorial, advertising, circulation and management. Exhibitors from around the world will show off the latest tools and products for publishers at a robust industry trade show as part of the INK+BEYOND conference programming. March 2013

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New Fact Sheet: Newspapers work for government advertising Engaged Citizens Read Newspapers Newspaper readers vote, and voters read newspapers. Moore Information conducted research that shows 86% of registered voters read newspapers in print or online.1 Other key findings include:


• Engagement is high even with younger voters: 79% of voters aged 18 to 34 read newspapers in print or online. • Newspapers and their sites outscore other media on reliability, accuracy and in-depth reporting about local civic and political issues. • Among voters who plan to use mobile devices for campaign or election news, 58% plan to turn to newspapers. Among those 18-to-34 years old, this number pops up to 62%. • 91% of voters who contribute to campaigns read newspapers in print or online. Newspapers Effectively Deliver Federal Government Ad Messages. Federal government ad messages in printed newspapers and on TV are deemed most appropriate by Canadians. Each media earned support from more than half of Canadians.2 But among high income earners and other demographics--such as moms and boomer (45-to-64 years old) women--print newspapers take the lead! While newspaper websites, direct mail and radio are ranked below these top two mediums, each one garnered agreement from about a third of Canadians in terms of their appropriateness for ads. This highlights that newspapers in combination with their sites are even more powerful for federal government messaging. The federal government advertisement shown was part of a campaign that ran in newspapers, websites, magazines and radio. The success of the ad was tracked by the government: *Percentage of survey subjects who indicated they did not use online CRA business-transaction services in the last 12 months, but would likely do so in the next 12 months These results prove that newspapers are an effective element in federal government campaigns.

Canadian Association of Journalists Conference The conference is scheduled to run from Friday, May 3, to Sunday, May 5, at the Westin Hotel Ottawa. “The annual conference is our premiere event, providing an opportunity for professional development and networking at a reasonable cost,” CAJ president Hugo Rodrigues said. “The conference is capped by our annual CAJ Awards gala where we honour the best in Canadian journalism and hand out Canada’s top investigative journalism prize, the Don McGillivray Award.” March 2013



La Presse to launch free digital edition this April Montreal-based daily La Presse is launching a new daily digital edition of the newspaper on April 18.

The La Press+ app will be made available free-of-charge for digital tablet devices. In explanation as to why La Presse has decided to go with this subscription model, president and publisher Guy Crevier said, “Making the news available free is now a well-entrenched practice in the digital universe and indeed, we believe, an irreversible phenomenon.” The print version of La Presse has a readership of 800,000 and the site attracts 2.7 million unique visitors per month.

Finalists announced for 2012 National Newspaper Awards

The Globe and Mail leads all newspapers in Canada with 15 finalists in the 64th National Newspaper Awards competition, followed by La Presse of Montreal with 12 and the Toronto Star with nine. The Canadian Press finished with five finalists, followed by the Edmonton Journal, The Vancouver Sun and Winnipeg Free Press with three each. The Hamilton Spectator, National Post, Ottawa Citizen and Postmedia News had two each. Single nominations went to Barrie Examiner, Brandon Sun, Brantford Expositor, Huffington Post, Kamloops Daily News, Le Journal de Montreal, London Free Press, Montreal Gazette, Reuters, St. John’s Telegram, St. Catharines Standard, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Waterloo Region Record, Victoria Times Colonist. The 72 finalists in the 22 categories were announced on March 13, 2013, from the National Newspaper Awards office in Toronto. There were 1,430 entries in this year’s competition for works that appeared in the year 2012. In all, 26 news organizations have been nominated. - 15 -

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March 2013  

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