Friday, 8 January 2010

Le Devoir @ 100

The independent, French-language daily Le Devoir turns 100 on Sunday with an open house and other fanfare.

A Canadian Press story in the Winnipeg Free Press says publisher Bernard Descoteaux emphasizes the newspaper takes pride in the fact it's independently owned and operated.

As it should. Newspapers under the wings of floundering media conglomerates across Canada can only watch independent print media from the sidelines with envy.

As Descoteaux, publisher since 1999, told CP: "We are sheltered from certain influences. This independence gives us what I call 'freedom to think.' We are free to take positions.""

Tell us about it. The Toronto Sun was proud, prosperous and private from 1971 to 1982 when the decision was made to sell controlling interest to Maclean Hunter.

A decade after opening the door to bean counters, co-founder Doug Creighton was on the outside looking in and the rest is the sad history of the flagship tabloid and its siblings.

Le Devoir, published in Montreal, is not a major circulation daily - 28,000 weekdays, 45,000 on the weekend - but it has a faithful, Quebec-based "elitist" audience.

As the CP story says, the French-language daily has been read by the province's intellectual class since 1910.

That is focus.

Happy 100th, Le Devoir. And many more.

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