Thursday, 16 April 2009

Say what?

TSF isn't sure if this anonymous comment about the Toronto Sun's coverage of the Woodstock story is from management, but if it is, we stand by our news judgment comments, here and here.

The posted comment:

"Beg your pardon, but don't question our "news judgment."

"We have been covering Tori's disappearance, but as per the convergence mantra, the Toronto Sun doesn't send its staff to cover something in one of our sister papers' locations.

"Unfortunately, the London Free Press writes stories geared for the broadsheet London Free Press and not for the chain. So sometimes we've used CP copy, yes.

"As for the website, remember there's only one person working on it."

We rest our case.

Sun Media owns the Woodstock Sentinel-Review, London Free Press and the Toronto Sun and as a team effort, there should be blanket coverage of the search for Tori in all three print newspapers and the Internet.

Admitting the London Free Press is writing for the LFP and not for the chain, and only one person is working on the website, reflects the sad state of Sun Media newsroom manpower and we feel your pain.

But with what manpower has been available in Woodstock, London and Toronto, and the Canadian Press for backup if needed, why the slow start and minimal Sun coverage of the national story? (London content has been used in the Sun.)

The minimal Sun coverage - it didn't begin in print until Saturday - comes down to news judgment and, in our view, it has been lacking. Somebody finally got Joe Warmington down to Woodstock for a Sun column Tuesday - six days after Tori vanished.

Compare today's continuing Toronto Star coverage from Woodstock by staff reporter at; Christie Blatchford's second Globe and Mail column from Woodstock and today's Sun coverage from Bruce Urquhart, a Woodstock Sentinel-Review reporter.

We're puzzled by the LFP comments from the TSF reader. Is PKP's budding QMI Agency not designed to share the content of all Sun Media newspapers across Canada?

If QMI is going to be CP-free and dependent on shared content, the restrictive, shoestring Woodstock coverage does not bode well for future major news efforts.


  1. It appears that the Woodstock website has 3-4 stories plus photos and video every day and they seem to continue to churn out enough stories for everyone. I think it's a matter of what the other papers in the chain choose to use and how to package it (or not to package it which seems to be the case). I just noticed LFP wrote their own stories today (1 story per reporter and they used their own photographer). The lead LFP story looks the same as the Sentinel-Review lead story but 2 different people wrote them.

  2. One person managing a major website? Wow, that's just pathetic. I thought PKP was pushing web, web, web... so how can the Sun properly do that with one person running the website? Is he on 24 hours? You can't compete like that at all.