Monday, 29 November 2010

North Bay anger

Kudos to editors at Sun Media's North Bay Nugget for publishing a letter to the editor demanding the once independent newspaper be freed from canned news and corporate bias.

The North Bay letter and a recent letter from a London Free Press reader reflect the growing anger of people mourning the demise of their "community" newspapers.

The letter, from Doug Brydges of Callender, is another response to a series of Sun Media stories about the CBC. 

But the first and last two sentences of the letter sum up the feelings of a lot of readers in smaller communities being served by Sun Media newspapers:

First two:
"Local Independence disappeared the day the North Bay Nugget fell into the hands of corporate ownership (Sun Media, Quebecor Inc.).

"Cuts to internal news, production and printing have given way to less local content, replaced by an increasing volume of canned content coming out of Sun Media's central content warehouse.

Last two:
"The real story is how once-credible publications, like the Nugget, can can lose their independence and be misused by invisible owner(s) to promote and advance a corporate agenda in the guise of journalistic freedom.

"I look forward to the day when North Bay will, once again, be served by an independently owned community newspaper that will preserve, provoke, and enhance excellence in journalism on every page it publishes."

Brydges also writes: "My dad (Stewart) got his start in the newspaper business with the Nugget (1947-1952). A fiercely independent editor and publisher for most of his life and he'd be furious if he was alive today."



  1. Truer words have never been spoken.
    The corporate push is so evident now it's embarrassing.

    Well done Nugget for printing the letter. At least someone there has a backbone.

  2. And yet advertisers - local and national - continue to support these publications.

    It's all about the bottom line - eliminating expenditures to maximize profit. As long as the ad dollars are there, Quebecor managers will think they are on the right track.

  3. I can see the day when we'll be just creating a single sheet 'local news' front page wrapper to go around a standard Sun manufactured core newspaper.

  4. If it continues down the path we are on, one press will be all that is needed...if you only have a press run of 5.
    Can you make money on 5 newspaper sales? Think of the synergies. One press, one pressman (unless they can do it with computers) one part-time ad sales person and one person call centre, at their home, taking calls from the 5 readers, about spelling mistakes, poor grammer and a late paper. Nope 5 papers is as hard for this company to manage as it is 500,000.
    Best of luck to all at Christmas, how many will be left? It's so difficult to have a holiday mood when all around you people are asked to clean out their desks.