Friday, 9 July 2010

Human Facebook

Steve Ladurantaye, a former Kingston Whig-Standard reporter and faithful TSF reader, has launched a unique website called The Human Facebook Project.

In a nutshell, Steve tracks down people listed as Facebook friends and interviews them for his Human Facebook Project.

The idea is getting rave reviews.

Steve recently sat down with Fred Laflamme, "the last great community newspaper publisher who retired from Kingston right as Quebecor came aboard."

In his intro, Steve writes:

"Some of my favourite moments at The Whig were just sitting in his office and talking about news. He didn’t play the game the way other publishers do – if he was going to insist on a story, he just told you why. And it rarely happened. And, they were good stories.

"He left shortly before I did. Then the new publisher, under directions of the new owner, proceeded to gut the joint.

"Here’s what he thinks about the industry now that he is retired, and what he thinks has to happen for things to be fixed."

The interview is recommended reading.

Our favourite quotes from the former publisher:

"The newspaper should not only provide a forum within its pages but should mimic that concept within its bricks and mortar and make the offices a welcoming place for readers and advertisers."

That is not the atmosphere at a lot of Sun Media newspapers.


"Obviously care has to be taken to develop the Internet side of the business to complement the “hard copy” but since less than 2 per cent, and in most cases less than 1 per cent, of a newspaper’s current revenues come from Internet based products, where would you put your emphasis for the next while?"


1 comment:

  1. Great read on Fred, very informative. As I was reading his thoughts, I was trying to imagine our publisher who is nowhere to be seen.

    "The classified section was reliably a bellwether predictor of a newspaper’s health."

    - If that's true, then our paper is dying in a hurry.

    "Obviously publishers should see the editorial pages, the front page, etc before they goes to press."

    - I don't know any publisher I worked for who wasn't out the door by 5 p.m. I doubt they knew or cared what was on the front page.