Monday, 3 January 2011

Examiner letter

A TSF reader out Peterborough way notes the following sub-head in the Peterborough Examiner today:

"How do you deal with loosing a son in Afghanistan"

And the reader includes a link to "another letter to the editor today rightfully criticizing Quebecor and their operations with respects to the Peterborough Examiner."

The letter writer, Dale White, invokes memory of Canadian author Robertson Davies (1913-1995),  who was co-owner and editor of the Examiner from 1942 to 1955 and publisher from 1955 to 1965.

"The Peterborough Examiner, at one time, had the great Robertson Davies as its editor. Amazing how it has declined especially under its new owners Quebecor," White writes.

"It's bad enough that our paper is not printed in Peterborough anymore and many of the staff have been dismissed, but the lack of quality control in the paper is terrible."


  1. I was there way back when the Davies family sold the Examiner to the Thomson chain, sort an early version of the tight-fisted PKP empire.
    The day the sale became official I walked into the newsroom and found the stationery cabinet, which had been on an honor system, was locked.
    The next shock came when I went to the can: The rolls of toilet paper had been replaced by nasty little squares with the texture of sandpaper.
    I knew then that we were in big trouble.
    Thomson started the decay of the Examiner, and PKP finished the job.

  2. Unfortunately for employees management has been taught to ! Results do not matter only politics!! Some publishers will downright abuse employees to make THEIR bonuses!!! Yeah they still get them!!

  3. Ha Ha Ha. That's almost too funny. I have been on the management side of editorial departments in this company for the last 6 years and I have seen a bonus once. My first year, and I haven't had one since regardless of whether we meet our "Targets and Objectives". So maybe if you have an asshole boss it isn't because they want to get a bonus that we don't seem to be getting, maybe they're just an asshole.

  4. Great that the Examiner editors have the cojones to print the letter. These errors of excellence are eroding the credibility of our papers and destroying morale.

  5. I used to work there, and would constantly be hammered by "when Robertson Davies was there..." But, according to people who WERE there when he was there, he mostly just picked up piles of books that were mailed in to the office and then vanished for days.

  6. to Anonymous 3:03. Davies was, for the last few years, publisher in name only. His prime job was as Master of Massey College, and, of course, writing his marvellous novels and essays. Until the paper was sold to Thomson, he made sure the editorial writing was in sure hands. The editor was Ralph Hancock, who became publisher of Reader's Digest Canada, and he had a very able assistant whose name escapes me. Both were skilled writers. It was not as if the Examiner was left to founder during Davies' absences.

  7. Lew...who proofed your last comment? I love the irony!

  8. Maybe my eyes are deceiving me, but you are obviously referring to a typo that I can't spot. Please point it out.
    I should mention you made a typing error in your post.
    Incidentally, why are you too chicken to use your name?

  9. Of course it wasn't left to founder, I didn't say that. But comparing his time with the present is dopey. Back then it was a paper that had bureaus in all outlying areas, a full desk of editors and a host of reporters to cover the news. In other words, it was a fully functioning medium-sized paper that had the resources and smarts to cover its territory with smarts. Whether he was there or not was largely irrelevant, which only speaks to the quality of the paper at the time.

  10. You made the point that he just vanished for days (for months, actually). My point — and I agree with your view that he did little hands-on work — is that the paper functioned whether he was there or not.
    But you're quite right in slamming misplaced nostalgia. Far too many people, for example, remember with fondness events at the Toronto Sun that send shivers of dread up my spine.