11 COMMUNITY REPORTER
AWARDS GALA 2013
The Connect r Since 1980
Newspapers still dying, oh come on already! p3 Senate Committee on Language on Internet p13 Main Street writers gather p14 Print is king for next millenium p16 From the field
The Quebec Community Newspapers Association Newsletter Connecting the English community press in Quebec for 32 years
REPORT FROM THE PRESIDENT
The meaning of being a QCNA board member
Steve Bonspiel, President, QCNA
he QCNA board is made up of dedicated, hard-working individuals who volunteer their time to ensure our association’s future is bright; and as the new president, I wanted to take this time to talk about what it takes to be a board member. We represent our 35 newspapers equally, and are constantly looking for ways to bolster the collective bottom line, promote our member papers, and boost our visibility. I have learned a lot from the tireless board members, who span many different ethnic backgrounds, languages and live in diverse communities, just some of the things that make the QCNA so interesting. These dedicated editors and publishers give their time selflessly, year after year, in spite of hectic schedules and crazy deadlines, not to mention trying to live the semblance of a life outside of work, balancing children, grandchildren and the ever-elusive social scene. A shift occurred on the board that started at last May’s AGM. It saw myself move from Vice President to President, taking over from the amazing Heather Dickson, someone I respect deeply, who has been there since the inception of the QCNA. I have learned a lot from her and I hope to tap into more of her vast knowledge in the near future, before she takes a well-deserved retirement. The board recently lost Nation editor/publisher Will Nicholls, as he resigned his post. December 2012
His years of dedication and sacrifice to help the association through some of the toughest times in its history did not go unnoticed. His time had simply come to pass and his attention was needed more at home with his new baby. I thank him deeply for his work. He gave me my start in the newspaper business, which was a meagre 10 years ago. I say meagre because everywhere I look I see people around me with such vast experience, who continue to work hard to teach others the tricks of the trade, whose experience is double or triple that amount of time. Nicholls’ departure serves to remind us all that time served on the board is temporary, and one day my time will come and I will attempt to pass my acquired knowledge onto others. But for now, and hopefully a long time from now, I will soak up as much as I can from current board members like Heather, Marc Lalonde, George Bakoyannis, Nikki Mantell, Fred and Lily Ryan, and Michael Sochaczevski; and enjoy the ride.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Steve Bonspiel President, CCNA rep Marc Lalonde Vice President George Bakoyannis Secretary, Treasurer, CCNA rep 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
Steve Bonspiel is an award-winning journalist and editor from the Mohawk community of Kanesatake. Bonspiel is the publisher and editor of the nationally known The Eastern Door, based in Kahnawake where he now lives. -2-
Executive Director’s Report
Oh come on with the newspapers are dying stuff Richard Tardif, Executive Director, QCNA QCNA MISSION STATEMENT
o the newspaper is still dying? I won’t go into mourning just yet, because I have yet to see a funeral. As a recovering reporter and photographer I am amazed at the number of “death beds” out there being reserved for the newspaper. There are those who blame the digital age and the Internet as the cause. Well, the long form reporting may be a victim, as it is with our attention spans, and for those who embrace the new technology and suggest it advances journalism, think again. Like most stories along these lines, we should not confuse community newspapers with bigger news outlets. In small communities that the QCNA represents, many readers still look to the local paper as a digest of what’s important. Sure beats wandering off to every town or library website. That is our role. The function of the community newspaper is to have an edited distillation of all the news. And while detailed and investigative journalism is honourable, it’s simply not feasible to expect small newspapers to do a lot of it on a regular basis. Someone said to me recently, “It’s not journalists who can’t or won’t dig, it’s a compensation system that doesn’t pay them to do so.” Good point. Many journalists are expected to produce as much content as humanly possible, hopefully not recycling press releases to that end. Many articles say that journalists need December 2012
to focus on adding value by telling readers things they can’t find out somewhere else. That’s a scoop, right? Seems to me we do that day in and day out and we have not become lazy mainstream journalists, as some suggest. Social media? Digital Media? All good things, yet it won’t do anything more for a good journalist who get’s there by hard work. Yes, there it is, those two words – hard work. Journalism is hard work and no one should think otherwise. We don’t have it as others did in the past, So there you have it, my take once again on why newspapers are not dying. They are being killed by those who want the industry to die, mostly corporate and those hoping for big bucks from the crazy digital world, but give me a paper any week and a fresh cup of coffee, and some friends and I’ll cancel my Internet provider subscription. I would like to thank my administrative assistant CAROLYN KITZANUK and my advertising coordinator and bookkeeper MARNIE OWSTON for all the hard work they bring to the QCNA, and especially in support of my duties. Every company has people who work hard, beyond the call of duty, and Carolyn and Marnie are shining examples of how valuable people are to succesful companies. -3-
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: email@example.com Website: www.qcna.org
QCNA acknowledges the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage
CONTRIBUTORS to the December CONNECTOR Wayne Larsen, John Foust, Kevin Slimp, Erin Hudson, Steve Brecher, Richard Tardif, Steve Bonspiel, Martti Lahtinen, Kirk Elsmore and Chloe Emond-Lane, Chris Judd, Carmen Marie Fabio, Trevor Greenway, Susan MacDonald, Dimitri Papadopoulos, Martin C. Barry. www.qcna.org
Inside the QCNA
QCNA’s Awards Competition Accepting Your Entries QCNA’s annual awards competition has been up and running since December 5. 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 http://www.betternewspapercontest.com. Contestant instructions are available at the competition website. All submissions can be made until midnight Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at which time the competition will go offline. Be sure to submit early! Rules of Entry are available at the competition website http://www. betternewspapercontest.com and at: http:// www.qcna.org/index.php?page=events. Simply click on the ‘Call For Entries’ link. Contact the QCNA office at 514-453-6300 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
QCNA Professional Day Well Attended QCNA’s Professional Day took place on October 26, 2012, at Le Nouvel Hotel with a morning session headed up by Photojournalist, Peter McCabe (left) and an afternoon session headed up by media lawyer, Mark Bantey (bottom right) The 22 members in attendance praised both McCabe and Bantey for their insightful workshops and took back lots of new info to their newspapers. For a report of the QCNA Professional Day from the perspective of two high school students see page 19. December 2012
Steve Bonspiel on ISWNE Board of Directors Publisher and Editor of The Eastern Door and interim QCNA President, Steve Bonspiel, attended ISWNE’s (International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors) annual conference in Washington last June, where he was elected to ISWNE’s Board of Directors. Fred Ryan Recognized by Pontiac Chamber of Commerce Fred Ryan, owner and publisher of three QCNA member newspapers (Bulletin d’Aylmer, Pontiac Journal du Pontiac, and West Quebec Post) received a Certificate of Business Excellence for the Pontiac Journal from the Pontiac Chamber of Commerce. The Journal was chosen as one of the three finalists in the category of Medium Business of the Year for 2012 at a gala this past October in Bristol.
Board Director, Will Nicholls, Steps Down
With the addition of a new son to his family last year, and a demanding work schedule, Board member Will Nicholls has decided to step down from the Board of Directors. Will has served on QCNA’s Board since 2005. QCNA is grateful for his contributions to the association over the years and wishes him well. It takes a great amount of dedication, perseverance and determination to stay on the board and contribute the way Will has. His input and sense of humour will be missed. Two New Babies for The Low Down to Hull & Back News Congrats to Low Down’s publisher & QCNA Board member, Nikki Mantell, on the birth of her second son, Max, born on December 3, 2012, weighing in at 9 lbs, 2 ounces - a little brother for Dominic, born on April 13, 2011. And, a few days later, Low Down’s journalist, Trevor Greenway, celebrated the birth of his second daughter, Lela Maya, born on December 6, 2012, weighing in at 9 lbs even- a little sister for Cora, born on June 23, 2010. Future journalists for the Low Down, perhaps !!??!!
2013 Awards Gala Info 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 mid-afternoon AGM will take place followed by a 6 p.m. cocktail hour and 7 p.m. dinner. And of course, the awards gala where QCNA members celebrate the best of the best!
Keep checking QCNA’s website h t t p : / / w w w. q c n a . o rg / i n d e x . php?page=events. More details coming in the new year. -4-
One Order, One Bill
Reaching 700,000 English & Bilingual readers - your ONE stop contact for all your advertising We deliver to 700,000 potential clients every week
www.qcna.org 514-453-6300 email: email@example.com
Quebec Community Newspapers Association, staying connected, staying social December 2012
Quebec Community Newspapers Association
With the QCNA reach 400,000 potential clients It’s not as easy as one call
Roadmap for Linguistic Duality On November 8, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages tabled a report entitled After the Roadmap: Toward Better Programs and Service Delivery, which sets out 38 recommendations to guide the federal government in developing a new official languages’ strategy at the end of the current Roadmap. The report is the culmination of more than a year of work undertaken by the Committee, which heard from 70 witnesses, including many community sector organizations from the English-speaking community of Quebec. The Committee concluded that the federal government must establish a new official languages initiative that includes funding equivalent to that for the Roadmap. The recommendations contained in the report present the federal government with suggested priorities for investing in of-
ficial language minority communities in the areas of health, immigration, community development, economic development, education, arts and culture, community media, justice and research. The recommendations also relate to the governance of the federal government’s future official languages initiative, including the creation of a communications strategy and the development of tools to improve the interdepartmental coordination capacity of Canadian Heritage’s Official Languages Secretariat, as well as accountability and evaluation practices for the participating federal partners. The Government will respond to the report’s recommendations on or before March,8 2013, and this response will signal Canada’s next official languages strategy.
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35 English community newspapers across Quebec
IT IS ONE CALL!!! We take care of the rest
One call, one bill 514-453-6300 firstname.lastname@example.org
ask for Marnie Owston (514) 453-6300 email@example.com December 2012
New Law says photographers own copyright to their works
Y R T S U IND NEW
OpenFile accounts frozen, freelancers still unpaid
OpenFile stopped publishing last September 28 for what OpenFile CEO Wilf Dinnick was calling a “pause” for a “few weeks.” Many contributors have found other jobs, and have not been paid because, as Jource reported, “the site is still silent and auditors are still reviewing the company’s books. http://j-source.ca/article/openfileaccounts-frozen-freelancers-stillunpaid?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_ medium=twitter The Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA) is launching a new project aimed at increasing the number of non-urban Canadians participating in online panel research. With the support of member community newspapers and their regional associations, CCNA's "Connecting to Canadians with Community Newspapers" project aims to facilitate access to this “hard to reach” target group for future research initiatives. The CCNA has also received financial support from the Government of Canada through Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Periodical Fund.
Sun Media cuts 500 jobs, shuts Ottawa, Kingston presses
Sun Media Corp. said in November it is cutting 500 jobs across Canada and closing two print presses in Ottawa and Kingston, Ontario. Those cuts and other measures, which will be implemented in the coming months, are expected to save the company about $45 million a year. “This restructuring is regrettable but warranted by changes in our industry which force us to align our cost structure with the new reality,” said a statement from Pierre Karl Péladeau, president and CEO of Sun Media.
Changes at TC Media
Marc-Noël Ouellette, Senior Vice President, Local Solutions, Atlantic Provinces and Saskatchewan, left the company October 31, 2012. Over the past 16 years, Ouellette held key positions within the TC Media organization first as General Manager for weekly publications, and then as Vice President, Newspaper Group. Early in this mandate, he directed the launch of the Metro newspaper in Montreal.
Canada passed a major reform bill on November 7, granting each photographer the right to maintain copyright of all work they produce, even if magazines, newspapers and other agencies commission the work. The goal of the bill provides photographers with the same rights as other creators. Copyright head of Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators <http://www.capic. org/> , André Cornellier released the following e-mail <http://www.
p e t a p i x e l . c o m / 2 0 1 2 / 11 / 0 7 / canadian-photogs-now-officiallyown-the-copyright-to-all-of-theirphotos/> to the organization members: The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) introduced a new brand identity today—the Alliance for Audited Media—to more accurately portray its evolving leadership in media verification. The new name reflects the industry’s transformation and reinforces the organization’s preeminent role in providing cross-media standards, audit services, and data critical to the advertising and publishing industries. The new brand, endorsed by 94 percent of the organization’s members who recently cast votes on the matter, builds upon AAM’s expanding role in auditing media across multiple platforms. These include print media brands, tablet and smartphone apps, websites, social media, email newsletters, and digital publishing platforms that serve the media industry.
www.qcna.org - (514) 453-6300 - firstname.lastname@example.org - Twitter @QCNA - facebook December 2012
P H OT O J O U R N A L I S M December 2012
QCNA member photographs
eginning in September we asked our member papers to submit for the QCNA website original photos that appeared in their weekly publications. We were not disapointed. Each week, our staff uploads a new photograph with full credit and caption. To date, we have received examples of spot news from Dimitri Papadopoulos (right, from the Laval News). Seasonal and timely from editor Carmen Marie Fabio of Your Local Journal in Hudson (centre, page 9), and from Main Street’s Susan MacDonald (bottom) a changing of the seasons. The QCNA welcomes all photographs taken by our members and will do our best to upload them. We do appreciate submissions and while we would love to showcase all your photographs, we must make the difficult choices of which ones we do showcase, given that some may not be timely.
Thursday October 4th, 6:55 p.m. with almost no one around to witness - except CBC cameraman and Newsfirst photographer Dimitri Papadopoulos - UPAC agents were transporting later that night, boxes of documents gathered from the Laval City Hall offices.
“Too often photographers are tempted/pushed to focus on shadow rather than substance,” Phil Carpenter, Montreal photographer
“You have to love this job because the schedules, the emotional ups and downs, the pressures would sometimes be too much of you didn’t love it. It’s a creative field. If you go to a game and make a good picture or shoot a nice portrait, you go home feeling great, but if you miss something, you go home feeling awful.” Harrington, Quebec. Photograph by Main Street’s Susan MacDonald, published September 2012, an example of discovering something while on the road, always carry a camera. -8-
Amy Sancetta, Associated Press Guide to Photojournalism. www.qcna.org
TImely and heart warming
Community member splashes through a water hole with his wife clinging to his back at Camp Fortune, near Wakefield, Qc, during the first annual Wife Carrying Competition. The pair won the event–taking home Patty’s weight in Budweiser. Photo by Trevor Greenway, Low Down to Hull and Back News.
It’s a really moving story where Western farmers are reciprocating byhelping out their Eastern Canadian ‘brothers.’ The first load of hay donated by Saskatchewan farmers to their drought-stricken counterparts in Western Quebec and Eastern Ontario arrives at the Cobden fairgrounds on October 9, 2012. Photo by Chris Judd, Quebec Farmers Advocate.
“You cannot depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus.” Mark Twain
Left, Carmen Marie Fabio, editor at Your Local Journal went for the seasonal and light hearted shot, recruiting her son, for an October 4 pumpkin front page.
In the moment Kirk Elsmore, a Vision Chateauguay photographer from, Howard S. Billings High School gets in the moment shot at the school’s annual back-to-school barbeque on September 21. Science teacher Mr. Lucu (centre) wonders if he can finish those last bites of pie before his competitors.
P H OT O J O U R N A L I S M
“You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper.” – William Albert Allard
2013 QCNA BETTER NEWSPAPERS COMPETITION Link to Awards Competition Site www.betterbnc.com
Aylmer, Quebec, May 31, 2013 (ten minutes from Ottawa)
Quebec Community Newspapers Association 400 Grand Boulevard, Suite 5 Ile Perrot, QC J7V 4X2 Tel. 514-453-6300 Fax 514-453-6330 Email: email@example.com Website: www.qcna.org
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COMMUNITY New technology helps us cover an old story by Wayne Larsen
ne of the most colourful characters in American history was William M. Tweed, the ultracorrupt ringleader of a vast network of systematic graft and patronage that maintained a political stranglehold on post-Civil War New York City. For years, Boss Tweed ran Tammany Hall with an iron fist. His power extended from the mayor’s office all the way down to the most menial labourer. If, for instance, you wanted a job shovelling up horse manure from the streets, you first had to pay the Tweed Ring to get the job, then kick back a percentage of your meagre salary each week. All city contracts went through Boss Tweed, and he ensured the proliferation of organized crime (he’s portrayed by Jim Broadbent in Martin Scorsese’s film The Gangs of New York). Tweed’s downfall was engineered by the press, partly through a series of exposés in the New York Times. He was also relentlessly caricatured by cartoonist Thomas Nast in Harper’s Weekly, prompting his famous complaint that he didn’t mind being attacked in editorials, as most of his supporters were blissfully illiterate, but no one could fail to recognize the bearded, obese Tweed gobbling up taxpayers’ dollars in Nast’s cartoons. Once the net began closing in around him, Tweed escaped to Spain, where he December 2012
was instantly recognized by Spanish authorities thanks to Nast’s cartoons. He was arrested and sent back to New York, where he died in jail. In all, he was said to have diverted an estimated $300 million from city coffers into his own pocket — and that’s in 1870s dollars! Today, the grim spectre of Boss Tweed looms large over Quebec as the Charbonneau Commission hearings continue to expose cases of graft and corruption that sound uncomfortably close to what the Tweed Ring was up to nearly 150 years ago — even though it’s safe to say that few of those currently accused of wrongdoing have ever heard of the Tweed Ring, let alone aspire to emulate it. This is arguably the most important story to be covered by the Quebec media in years, but it doesn’t have to be the exclusive property of the big city dailies and broadcast media. Community papers can make valuable contributions to the discourse by covering an array of local angles suggested by the Charbonneau hearings, and digging into the backgrounds of those being called to testify. Anyone with access to a municipal government is certainly aware that a lot of what is coming out in the so-called “shocking testimony” heard by the Charbonneau Commission is not restricted to major cities. - 11 -
You can bet that a lot of small-town “bosses” are nervous, knowing the time is ripe for a major clean-up. The public’s demand for honesty and political transparency has never been stronger, and that goes a long way in generating interest in local press. I used to hear arguments that community newspapers simply didn’t have the clout of the big dailies when it came to “afflicting the comfortable.” Taking on a subject like political corruption through a low-circulation weekly was like hunting big game with a pellet gun: you might get lucky, but were more likely to simply anger your quarry. Now, multi-platform media technology gives all journalists a lot more muscle to ask the tough questions. With that, and a few well-aimed Access to Information requests, there’s no reason why smaller papers can’t play a bigger role in this ongoing crusade against the widespread misuse of public funds. Remember, the ostensibly untouchable Boss Tweed was ultimately taken down by the penny press in an age when the Internet was the stuff of science fiction. Wayne Larsen is a professor of journalism at Concordia University, a former editor of the Westmount Examiner, and the author of four books.
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Senate Committee on language on the Internet delivers expected results By Richard Tardif Executive Director, QCNA
The federal public administration needs to integrate this new philosophy into its practices and must do so with respect for Canada’s two official languages, which requires that an appropriate governance structure be implemented. -Members of the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages
embers of the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages in 2011 agreed to carry out a study on Internet use, new media and social media in respect for Canadians’ language rights, and the report landed in our laps in October of 2012. As expected, the Committee recommends pushing more French on the Internet while making the Internet more accessible in remote communities. In Canada, which proudly boasts English and French as its official languages, the Senate Committee raised the question, “are Canadians’ language rights being respected?” In essence, how much English, how much French and how accessible is the Internet to these linguistic groups? During the course of the study, the Senate (over nine months) met with more than 50 stakeholders (represented by 83 witnesses) including the Quebec Community Newspapers Association on May 7, at public hearings in Ottawa. The goal? To determine whether the two official languages are being treated equally in this new digital world. This report highlights four key ideas. To begin with, and without a doubt, accessibility is key. Second, the Senate determined that French remains underused in the new digital world, and measures are needed to increase its presence, along the same vein as for services in person or by phone, online services must be made available based on the principle of substantive December 2012
equality of both official languages. Young people are the most avid users of new communication tools, the Committee listed as a third finding, suggests the Committee didn’t know that the Internet and digital is the domain of the young, or younger. Of course, young people grew up immersed in technology. The committee also suggested young people need to be reached where they are, in their language of choice. This issue is particularly important for the development of official language minority communities, says the study. Highlight number four recommends that federal institutions that achieve the best results take linguistic duality into careful account at every stage of their communication strategies, from understanding obligations to monitoring results. For QCNA newspapers, we stated that the greatest challenge remains translation, that is, if we felt our readership was more French than English. More, if the QCNA and its members are to even begin a social media adventure, let alone being conscious of linguistic duality, we need the resources. As we stated during the Committee hearing, and was reported, “…in most cases in our newspapers, allocating a reporter, a designer or another employee to manage and translate a site puts further pressure on those who pay the bills to find a qualified translator.” Our members are feeling the squeeze in advertising revenue from the federal level. The QCNA has seen a rapid decline - 13 -
in those government ads, case in point, the Canadian Armed Forces recruiting ads. Once a staple for many community newspapers, these ads are finding spots on television. This is a trend and but one example. So what does this study mean? This study missed an important point made by the QCNA and our sister group l’association de presse francophone, and that is the real “need” to have both languages appear on their member sites. Is there a need? Under the QCNA umbrella, The Eastern Door, Your Local Journal, and the Laval News, serve primarily an English readership. The need to provide website content in French must be parallel to the number of French readers. Further, web site media, in any of its forms, requires populations to acquire new habits, applying the seat-of-thepants to the chair and actually choosing a QCNA newspaper site over the 23 million news sites at the click of a finger. That is, if a newspaper can afford a site to begin with. QCNA executive director Richard Tardif appeared before the Members of the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages on behalf of all QCNA members on May 7, 2012 in Ottawa, Ontario.
Main Street writers meet and reflect Steve Brecher – Main Street
orty members of the Main Street team assembled on October 20 in Saint-Sauveur in order to renew acquaintances, meet newcomers, and learn about our recent developments. This was the first opportunity to formally introduce Anne Secor, who joined our management team in January of this year as Art & Design Director. Anne is responsible for the look and flow of Main Street. She personally creates many of the 100 plus ads in each month’s edition, and assiduously fits them into a framework of content (supplied by our editor, Susan MacDonald), that gives Main Street its distinct personality. To our great delight, Anne was given a rousing thumbs-up by our founder, the late Jack Burger. Anne brings with her an impressive set of credentials, having made her mark over many years in New York City, working for Martha Stewart Living, Estee Lauder, Saks Fifth Avenue, J Crew and other renowned global brands. She currently resides in Morin Heights with her husband, Steve Friedman (one of our writers and the owner of Tech Spa, a computer store in St. Sauveur), and their six-year-old twin daughters. After an informative technical presentation by Susan MacDonald, we were treated to a guest appearance by Richard Tardif, Executive Director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association (QCNA). Richard informed us of two unique aspects of Main Street, one of 35 QCNA members. He commented on the comparative vastness of the territory that we serve, and the impressive size and tenure of our writers’ team. Richard also shared ideas with us from his extensive experience as a photojournalist. He made us aware that plagiarism is on the rise due in no small measure to the easy access to other people’s writing and photos on the Internet. December 2012
Photo: Top Row L/R: Yaneka McFarland, Lyana De Gain, Anne Secor, Lise Brecher, Jim Warbanks, Joan Beauregard, Claudette Hay, Ilania Abileah, Grif Hodge, Marion Hodge, Michael Nerenberg. 2nd Row: Barry Young, Susan MacDonald, Don Stewart, Joe Graham, Lise McLellan, Tiffany Reider, Rosita Labrie, Christina Vincelli, Michèle St. Amour and husband, Gilles. Bottom row: Lys Chisholm, Grace Bubeck, Steve Brecher, Lori Leonard, Robert Elimeleck. Photo by Richard Tardif.
He recounted with visible emotion, his participation at the lifetime achievement award ceremony, which he organized in honour of our founder, the late Jack Burger, at his hospital room on May 17 of this year. (Retired Professor Lindsay Crysler, in whose name the award is given, personally attended.) On reflection, I would add to Richard’s comments regarding the special qualities of our newspaper. Many of our readers, as well as our advertisers, consistently comment on the nature and caliber of our writing. Many of you tell us that we are a “feel good” paper, yet not Pollyannaish. Perhaps, this is because we begin each month’s edition with our extraordinary, long-standing writer, David MacFairlane, whose “Observations” column on page 4, provides a wake-up call to some of the most critical global realities, be they political, economic, environmental or social. David’s carefully researched, hardhitting column sets the tempo for the rest of our writers whose mission is to inform, educate and/or entertain, on matters that can enrich our lives. Our common goal is to bring our disparate - 14-
Laurentian community citizens together in a way that celebrates life and affirms our gratitude for residing in this special place. Although we are technically a “news” paper, we focus on quality of life and lifestyle, and we leave most of the hard news to the Laurentian weeklies (French language hebdos). Jim Warbanks, one of our Associate Editors, who has been an integral part of Main Street from its inception over 11 years ago (and even before that with its precursor, Perspective), informed us that he receives many compliments from Francophone readers, who have no alternative but to compare Main Street to the Laurentians French language press. We estimate that, of our 35,000 readers, about 10,000 are Francophones (and, hopefully, growing).
How losing a sale can be good for business By John Foust, Raleigh, NC
“As crazy as it sounds, losing a sale can be good for business,” Gerald told me. “It offers a unique chance to build rapport over a long period of time. And when they conduct another advertising review, I’ll be in a better position than before.” To put it simply, a sales presentation has three possible outcomes: (1) yes, (2) no, or (3) not yet. The good news – for Gerald and other optimistic sales people – is that “no” can be interpreted as “not yet,” instead of “never.” This means there is hope for a future sale, even when the last attempt wasn’t successful. Rapport is a huge element in turning today’s “not yet” into next month’s or next year’s “yes.” Step 1: Thank sincerely. Gerald’s strategy is to thank a prospect immediately after a presentation. And if they decide not to buy, he thanks them again – with a handwritten note or an e-mail. “Unless it is a rare circumstance, I drop the must-buy-from-me persona. Some sales people say, ‘Thank you, and by the way, you should reconsider this list of selling points,’ but I disagree. That not-so-subtle message is, ‘You made a bad decision, and here’s your chance to correct it.’ That’s no way to build rapport. “I simply thank them for their consideration, wish them success – and tell them that I am looking forward to staying in touch.” Step 2: Keep in touch on a regular basis.
touch,” Gerald explained. “Top-of-mindawareness is just as important in selling as it is in advertising. People like to do business with people they know.” Because Gerald is genuinely interested in people, it is easy to learn about their interests. He sends occasional links to articles about favorite teams and hobbies. And he makes sure to chat with them at various networking events around town.
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.
Step 3: Monitor the advertising. “Because I want another shot at their business in the future, I follow their marketing,” Gerald said. “At some point along the way, they may ask for feedback on a particular aspect of their ads. The faster I respond, the better my chances of being heard. “That’s an open door to another sales presentation – and maybe a bigger sale than I would have made if they had said “yes” the first time. The difference is that now we know each other pretty well.” Gerald has found another benefit. “I’ve gotten some unexpected referrals,” he said. “People not only like to buy from people they know. They like to refer friends to people they know.” (c) Copyright 2012 by John Foust. All rights reserved. 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: email@example.com
“Okay, now that I’ve told them I’m going to stay in touch, I actually stay in December 2012
We’re on Facebook and Twitter.
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Want to follow us on Twitter visit @QCNA. If you have an account already, 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.
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Print is king for next millennium! How numbers can say just about anything Kevin Slimp Institute of Newspaper Technology firstname.lastname@example.org
I wonder how many groups are going to get mad at me over this one. Here goes. OK, this headline appeared in my email yesterday from News & Tech, a highly respected newspaper industry publication:
Digital circ for U.S. papers soars Soars. Hmm. The headline surprised me for a couple of reasons. First, News & Tech has been a strong believer in the value of print over recent years, when the temptation for many publications has been to promote the “print is dead” philosophy. News & Tech’s Chuck Moozakis even wrote a column about the value of print in the September/October edition. As I read the story, based on daily circulation for the 613 newspapers reporting to the Audit Bureau of Circulations for its latest six-month report ending Sept. 30, 2012, I was confused. The first thing I noticed was that circulation held steady over the six months since the previous report. Daily circulation was down 0.2 percent, while Sunday circulation was up 0.6 percent. But what kept drawing my focus was the headline:
Digital circ for U.S. papers soars So I looked more closely. Digital circulation sits at 15.3 percent today. A year ago, it was roughly 9.2 percent. According to the story I was reading, “ABC said digital-only subscriptions are on a sharp incline, with the organization reporting that digital circulation now accounts for more than 15 percent of newspapers’ total circulation. That’s a jump of almost 10 percent over year-ago figures, ABC said.” The numbers confused me. I couldn’t figure out where the 10 percent increase was. Being the stickler I am about such things, I decided to look for myself.
I went to ABC’s website and looked for myself. I found the numbers from six months ago showing that digital circulation was 14.2 percent of total circulation six months earlier. That means it increased from 14.2 to 15.3 percent in six months. Still today, I read more headlines in newspapers around the world about how digital circulation is soaring among U.S. newspapers. Wanting to be sure of my facts, I contacted Susan Kantor, ABC’s director of communications. She was very helpful and we looked at the numbers together. Sure enough, I had my facts straight. If I’m reading the numbers correctly, digital circulation rose from 9.2 to 14.2 percent in the previous six months, then went up from 14.2 percent to 15.3 percent in the most recent six month period. So here’s my question. Wouldn’t the headline be more accurate if it were:
Digital circ increases take nosedive Isn’t it funny what we can do with numbers? The truth is that over the most recent six months, print circulation stayed relatively steady. No big gains, no big losses. The percentage of circulation attributed to digital devices rose from 14 to 15 percent, a very slight increase. My calculator (no, I didn’t really need a calculator for this one) tells me that at this rate, digital circulation will be higher than print circulation in just 17 years. Of course, if the decreases in the rate of digital circulation figures correlated with the numbers for the past year, dropping from a 5 percent increase the first six months to a 1 percent increase in the most recent six months, it could take thousands of years for digital circulation to reach 50 percent of total circulation. Just to make sure I hadn’t confused the facts, I contacted David Anderson, professor of mathematics at The University of Tennessee, where I serve on the adjunct faculty in the College of Communication and Information. I’ve never met Dr. Anderson, but I asked if he would look at these numbers with me and see if I was off base. He was quite helpful. When I shared the numbers with him for the past year, then looked more closely at the differences between the first six months and the last six months, he was surprised.
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He said he thought print newspapers were almost gone, from what he’d read in the media. I explained that a lot of people think that from the stories they read. Then I asked him, if the rate of digital circulation increase decreased in the future at the same rate that it decreased between the last two ABC reports, if that indicated that it could take thousands of years for digital circulation to overtake print circulation. While he didn’t think it would take that long, he did agree that the numbers from the last two reports could correctly be used to infer that. Thus the headline could just as easily read:
Print is king for next millennium OK. Let’s get something straight. I’m not so naive that I think it will be thousands, or even hundreds, of years before most of us get our news using means other than print. But at the same time, we do a huge disservice to our readers and ourselves when we play with headlines like this. Here’s the story as I see it. • Was there an increase in digital circulation over the past six months? Yes, from 14 to 15 percent of total circulation. • Did print take a nosedive over the past six months? No, print held up just fine. • Did daily newspaper circulation drop over the past six months? No, overall it held steady. Perhaps this is the news we should be sharing with advertisers and readers. Do I think News & Tech has given up on print newspapers? No way. Their history tells me N&T is a firm believer in print. I just think it could have been a better headline.
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QQ-NEWS EXTRA Low Down editor gets his first grade It took 62 years, but I went back to school and finally got my Grade one. I passed the scholastic benchmark during a September visit to Finland, from where my family immigrated to Canada in 1950. The bad news: I had turned seven, before the splashdown in Winnipeg in that year, to enter a school system where children begin attending school at age six. It was a case of betwixt and between – age-related systemic limbo, one might say – and I was a languagechallenged overager swimming among Anglophone first-graders. The good news: the national shoe of Finland is the rubber boot, which I wore to school and given the flood conditions after the Red River spilled over its banks that spring, I was the only kid in the class allowed outside during recess. That suited me just fine. Nobody spoke Finnish, so I remained oblivious to the trash-talking in the schoolyard, which can be a cruel place at times. Our stay in Winnipeg was short-lived. My father, a printer, found work at a newspaper in Sudbury, Ontario., home to 7,000 Finns. We moved just weeks before school let out for the summer holiday. So I really began school in Grade two at MacLeod Public, catching up to the seven-year-olds beginning the fall term. Miss Price taught me well, fasttracking my English language skills at a front desk. Grade three proved to be a breeze. I still have the book Mrs. Barr awarded me for being the top student in the class. December 2012
By Martti Lahtinen, Low Down Editor
Let the record show that including skipping Grade seven, I hurdled eight grades in six years. No scholastic endeavour beyond the elementary has come close to matching my personal bests – before high school and university; cars, girls, hockey and alcohol saw to that. An A-plus in denial once served as the lame excuse that my education was undermined by the missing entry-level building block. Those in the know, of course, disagree. But now, I have collected the critical missing piece. During that 2012 September visit to Finland, a school in a tiny Finnish village awarded me a symbolic first-grade pass – albeit post humorously. The 150-year-old school is my mother’s and grandmother’s alma mater. My grandmother is buried in the village church graveyard. When I kneeled at her headstone for a friend’s picture-taking, I spotted the school just across the street and responded to a whim: let’s visit the place. It’s a wonder the police were not summoned when two strangers wandered into the schoolyard carrying equipment for a photo shoot. A hasty explanation preceded the director inviting the big kid from far away to sit in the Grade one classroom to recount his 62-year wayward journey to a dozen bewildered seven-year-olds who spoke no English. Braving going back to school at my age was simply awesome. If there was one drawback, it was that there was no graduation ceremony. They couldn’t find a cap and gown big enough to fit. Meanwhile, the message from all this rings out like the school bell: it’s not where you start, it’s where you Finnish.
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Laval News photographer, presented with Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
mong Laval’s 30 recipients, Laval News / Newsfirst Photographer, Dimitri Papadopoulos, was recognized for distinguishing himself through his community involvement and was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Laval MP, José Nunez-Melo presented the medal to Papadopoulos during a special dinner and ceremony held on October 12 in Laval. Papadopoulos is regarded as one of Canada’s first internet broadcasters, having launched a broadcast on the web as early as 1994. He is a commissioned Canadian Forces officer with the rank of lieutenant and an instructor with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Papadopoulos is also an accomplished professional photographer who received a photojournalism award from the president of Greece. QCNA members may recognize Papadopoulos from previous awards ceremonies over the past few years, as he was busy taking awards photos for QCNA. Congratulations go out to Dimitri Papadopoulos for this great honour. http://lavalnews.ca/article/LavalNDP-MP-awards-Queen-Medals-to30-recipients-202003 Photo credit Martin C. Barry www.qcna.org
From the field I’ll be ready when it happens by Erin Hudson Student reporter, McGill Daily
ell, no one said this was going to be easy. I repeated this mantra on a sunny day last April after having just crashed and burned in an interview, effectively quashing all hope of working in a real newsroom – at least for summer 2012. Graduating with a BA from McGill in Oc-
tober, 2011, I have no formal journalism training. But deciding journalism was the profession for me halfway through my degree, I took all the opportunities I could to get experience. Working as a reporter and editor for the McGill Daily and volunteering around CKUT, McGill’s campus community radio station, the majority of what
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I know I learned at these two outlets. The amount of gratitude and respect I have for my coworkers, fellow volunteers, and friends at these places is hard to express. The transition from being a student journalist in these settings to an unknown newbie in a professional context has been jarring to say the least. Navigating the networks of mainstream media and the ever-transforming journalism industry without getting caught in the undertow of hopelessness is a precarious art that I’m trying to learn, but the reality of today is that there’s not time for learning on the job. You’re ready or you’re not, and you can only count on one shot. So, to cope, I’m making like a sponge attempting to absorb all perspectives, approaches and skills I can so one day when that opportunity appears I’ll be ready. I’m still in the game: as Quebec Bureau Chief for the Canadian University Press, I report weekly for newspapers across the country and I coordinate a national radio show, GroundWire. Yes, I’ve won recognition for my work even gotten paid for my work - but I’m not a journalistic success story. I spend most of my days working a minimum wage job or instructing fitness classes, and I’m getting some life experiences you only get by doing. I’m chasing the dream pragmatically, working my nose-to-the-grindstone with fingers crossed that it’s going to pay off. I think it will. Based in Montreal, Erin Hudson is a freelance journalist, the Quebec Bureau Chief for the Canadian University Press and coordinator of the National Campus Community Radio Association’s news magazine GroundWire.
Vision journalists attend QCNA education workshop Kirk Elsmore and Chloe Emond-Lane Vision Reporters
On the road with QCNA’s executive director September QCNA executive director Richard Tardif spoke with Vision newspaper students at Howard S Billings High School in Chateauguay, offering a basic writing workshop. October October 2, QCNA executive director Richard Tardif presented Journalism 101 for 80 Concordia University undergraduate journalism students. Richard shared his experiences as a community reporter and editor, and described the ins and outs of writing for a small community newspaper. October 16-19, QCNA executive director Richard Tardif attended the Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA) meetings in Toronto, Ontario.
Award winning photographer Peter McCabe during a QCNA seminar shares stories of his shoots for the Montreal Gazette and the Toronto Star and gives tips to community journalists who usually do double-time as photographers. (photo: Kirk Elsmore)
ision journalists attended the QCNA (Quebec Community Newspapers Association) seminar in Montreal at Le Nouvel Hotel on October 26. The QCNA is an organization dedicated to the professional and economic development of English community newspapers. The focus of the day was for QCNA members to gain knowledge and expertise from its invited guest speakers who are known for excellence in their respective fields. Vision became a new member of the QCNA this year and was invited to take part. The QCNA’s members include community newspapers such as the Sherbrooke Record, Brome County News, District 9, and many others. Peter McCabe, award winning freelance photojournalist who has worked for The Canadian Press, Toronto Star, and the December 2012
Montreal Gazette, was on hand to display various techniques and the tools of the trade. He provided several valuable and useful tips to the many journalists present. In the afternoon session, media lawyer Mark Bantey shared information on access to information laws and rights of journalists. Participants appreciated the subject matter. Tim Norton from The Eastern Door in Kahanawake liked McCabe’s photography seminar. “It was really interesting. [Now] I know what kind of picture I want to take,” said Norton. As Vision reporters, we are thankful to be a part of the QCNA and we’re glad to say that the information gained from this seminar will help us to provide our readers with the best possible news and photos that they deserve.
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October 21, QCNA executive director Richard Tardif was a guest speaker at Main Street’s annual writer’s conference in Mont Saint Sauveur. October 26, QCNA executive director Richard Tardif attended the Quebec Community Groups Network policy and bylaws conference call. October 31, QCNA executive director Richard Tardif visted West Quebec Newspapers. November November 4, QCNA executive director Richard Tardif spoke at The Link, an independent student newspaper at Concordia University. December QCNA director nominated to the board of RecycleMedias in Quebec. Richard will sit on the board as a member starting December 11, 2012 www.qcna.org
Quebec Community Newspapers Association Association des Journaux Regionaux du Quebec
33rd Annual Better Newspaper Competition and 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 dâ€™Aylmer Gatineau, QC J9H 7L3 Tel: (800) 807-1088 www.qcna.org Tel: 514-453-6300