Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Highs & lows

Today's Toronto Sun said it all about the highs and lows of Quebecor's Sun Media.

The high of the day, word for word, was Joe Warmington's replay of the missing Mennonite boy in a Wellington cornfield and the heartwarming, happy ending for all concerned.

Joe's photos, including one of young Jacob Berg, 5, wearing the police cap of his hero rescuer, Belleville Const. Todd Bennett, capped the magnetic appeal of this feel good story.

Classic Toronto Sun from one of our favourite Sun vets.

Joe Warmington is one of those dedicated Sun staffers Wayne Janes talks about in his e-mails to TSF in support of all of the 'great, thoughtful, dedicated and bloody hardworking' staffers.

No argument.

The low of the day . . .

So we continued reading the remainder of the Sun out here in the boondocks, feeling like we got our $1.06 worth all from one story.

Then along came Page 28 and the good vibes fizzled.

There, in the top right corner of Page 28, is a large photo taken at a supermarket opening in Toronto and one of the four men in the photo is Toronto Sun publisher Kin-Man Lee.

The same Kin-Man Lee, whose athletic daughter Peng Peng has been written about at length in a George Gross column or two.

To his right is Tim Corcoran, the Sun's advertising director, and to his left are the owner of the new supermarket and the local MPP.

"Opening day, supermarket style." says the caption. There is nothing to indicate this is paid advertising, so it must be precious tabloid editorial space.

The photo took us way, way back to small town newspaper publishers who would wear a chicken suit if it helped attract an advertiser.

So Kin-Man Lee is doing supermarket openings.

Does that mean the owner of every new supermarket in the GTA should be calling the publisher of this large city daily for free photo coverage of their grand openings?

Business owners must be wondering 'why this supermarket?' Is there a personal connection between Kin-Man and the store owner? Did it involve a huge advertising contract?

We'd like to see the use of this photo explained in Glenn Garnett's Inside the Sun blog, but we won't hold our breath.

The supermarket opening photo brings to mind the recent national CEP survey of 854 Canadian journalists, which indicated, among many other issues,
there are concerns about ethics and the amount of corporate input into newsrooms.

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