Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Thinking media?

Update on Think media . . .

It is alive and well at a new web site address. Our thanks to a reader of Think media who e-mailed the latest five-page online posting, dated Dec. 18.

Archives previously available on the other site are not available, so we don't know if the latest posting is the first since Nov. 17, just after PKP personally took control of Sun media.

Think media had been posted every two weeks for a year.

Think media sounds like something Michael Sifton, an experienced newspaper executive, would have introduced to keep employees informed about staff appointments and media innovations.

Sifton, former Osprey Media chief, was appointed Sun Media chief before Think media was introduced on Nov. 26, 2007. On the job, he was a calming influence for Sun employees shell shocked by eight years of cutbacks.

The day Sifton was turfed has been called Black Friday by disillusioned Sun staffers. Six weeks later, Black Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the old Think media site always included a "feedback" feature, but it is send only, not send and read. A Quebecor preference, no doubt.

Allowing readers and employees to see what is being said about Sun Media isn't one of Quebecor's priorities. To be truthful, we don't think Quebecor gives a damn.

Remember Allison Downie, the Toronto Sun's short-lived first readership editor, hired in 2005 by veteran newsman Jim Jennings? Quietly let go a year later without an explanation.

Glenn Garnett gave shop talk a try last year with an Inside the Sun blog while he was editor-in-chief, but when he moved on the blog closed up shop.

Letters to the editor are heavily monitored and the one-liners below the letters have become more confrontational than amusing in recent years.

Readers are being left in the dark when their favourite columnists and reporters suddenly fade to black.

The Toronto Sun, once reader friendly, is now dissing the people who dug for coin daily to make it a huge success. The Little Paper That Grew grew on their loyalty as readers.

Those same readers are no longer on the pedestal Doug, Peter and Don and the rest of the Day Oners built for them in 1971 and kept them on into the 1990s.

During the glory years, the attitude of the Sun was literally mi casa, su casa.

Quebecor, on the other hand, has been slapping readers in the face with cutbacks in employees, content and two-way communication.

Mum's the word, even if Quebecor Media, owner of Canada's largest newspaper chain, is in the communications business.

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