Sunday, 24 May 2009

New papers 2

We haven't heard from the former Sun Media employees in Alberta who have decided to publish papers in areas abandoned by Quebecor, but reaction to the idea has been mostly positive.

Perhaps that is the answer for hundreds of laid off and fired Sun Media employees - find paperless communities and, with the committed support of local advertisers, launch new papers.

All you need, as did the 62 Toronto Sun Day Oners is 1971, are the need to succeed, a commitment to journalism, computers, a reliable core of advertisers and a local printer.

Remain independent and remain focused on local news, sports and entertainment. Let the communities know their needs are a priority.

As one of the TSF readers puts it: "The future of newspapers is in small-towns, with independent owners. You'll never be able to read what happened around the council tables of Morinville or Nanton without local papers that care about their communities, not just the almighty dollar. That's why dailies are dying. Good luck to the new papers!"

We second that emotion. There are numerous independent publishers across Canada, publishing newspapers and special interest publications. Some are free thanks to sufficient ads and others have subscription fees.

A move away from conglomerate ownership of newspapers could become a movement with dedicated journalists at the helm. New versions of Doug Creighton, Peter Worthington and Don Hunt.

One of our dream scenarios is the Toronto Sun never went public in 1981 and the nightmare called Quebecor was never allowed to evolve. The Sun never allowed politicians and bean counters in the front door. It remained independent and feisty and committed to the needs of readers with a proven tabloid formula.

But hey, that's just us.

Canadian journalists burned by conglomerates shouldn't give up on journalism. Arrange meetings of minds and start anew.

If you fail, at least you tried. If you succeed, well, just ask Toronto Sun Day Oners how that feels.

And if you need a semi-retired former Sun rewrite guy to handle your news copy via the Internet, let me know. The prospect of new community newspapers springing up is invigorating.


  1. Don't just find communities without newspapers – take on the gutted Sun Media weekly you and your colleagues were just cut from!

  2. Don't even look for a community without a paper -- take on Sun Media.

    Who's going to win? Local people with a passion for covering events in their community, or a faceless corporation that has gutted the town's once-loved and respected newspaper?

    PKP can't be bothered to compete with that.