Monday, 13 July 2009

Re Hinton Voice

Robert Washburn had this to say about Alberta's new Hinton Voice weekly in a posting on the Canadian Journalism Project site:

"The Hinton Voice is a great example of what needs to take place. Hyper-local publications serving very specific geographic areas or communities of interest are the solution the big corporations are missing.

"While these chains promote more centralized production away from the communities they serve and more common content across the board, local audiences are turning away in disgust.

"The Voice (staffed by former Sun Media employees) is responding with a commitment to local coverage and content that is focused on the community it serves. It is worthy of watching."

Washburn also says: "Sun Media recently cut back at the Pincher Creek Echo and the Crowsnest Pass Promoter. There are rumours flying around that smaller Ontario papers in the chain may suffer more reductions only months after a major series of layoffs occurred in the winter and spring."

We wonder how many more heads will roll following PKP's anticipated tour of Ontario newspapers this week.

TSF has heard another newspaper to be run by former Sun Media employees will soon be launched - in Ontario. Stay tuned.

It is beginning to sound like a movement out there.


  1. It's too bad there are no plans to do start a similar project in any of the areas in Ontario where the SunMedia newspapers are being run on a shoe string.

    I would love to throw my time and effort into a "local" newspaper in Simcoe, Brantford or someplace like that.

  2. Then go ahead ... that's the whole point of an independent movement, people who love a community and want to cover it properly, not constantly be brow-beated in the pursuit of the almighty dollar.

  3. First of all, kudos to all those who take the risks to set up newspapers in smalltown markets and kudos to TSF for calling attention to them. However, I would be even more excited if I was to find out that these weeklies paid their staff more money. Yes, I know, journalism isn’t about the money, but it says here that one of the reasons why community newspapers have died in some places is because of their inability to retain staff – in the newsroom, in the composing department and in sales – simply because they could not or would not pay a decent wage. If you don’t have any continuity in your newspaper, your product suffers and your readership falls. I hope the folks in Hinton and elsewhere have figured out how to turn weekly newspapers back into viable career options, rather than $30,000-a-year stepping stones that you can only suffer for so long.

  4. can get paid more than $30,000 a year? What the hell am I still doing with this damn company!

  5. It's great that these independent papers are popping up, but please don't think that making the move from the corporate world is easy ... it's not. While SunMedia has been (haphazardly?) slashing jobs and making some huge errors in judgement, they also have a structure in place to produce and delivery newspapers and a lot deeper pockets than most individuals, especially if they have been working for the company!
    Taking that step away from benefits, vacations and at least a little job security is tough, as is going up against papers that, while corporate, have also been serving the community for many years.
    Is it worth it? I'd say hell ya, but while the pay might be a little higher there are risks involved. It has to be done, as it often is in this industry, for the love of the job.

  6. Honestly, if you're getting paid 30K, stack shelves at Superstore. More money and a hell of a lot more respect.