Friday, 24 June 2011


A TSF tipster says a Sun Media expert was down Niagara way to talk about social media and press coverage.

Take a look at the St. Catharines Standard and how its reporters are tweeting city council meetings while in session, the assembly was told.

Welland Tribune reps listened, but later noted Sun Media will not allow any equipment purchases. 

"So if they want to do this they (reporters) would have to buy their own equipment," says the tipster.

We're sure the general response will be "Tweet this, Sun Media."


  1. Would love to hear what the "Sun Media expert" thinks of this. Does he know he's just wasting his time, or is it 'Hey, I get paid whether they follow my lead or not'?

  2. Isn't the equipment needed just a smartphone, which seemingly everyone now owns?

    If the company can require employees to have their own cars, and then pay mileage for on the job use, couldn't they do they same thing for a phone, and provide money to pay for the data plan?

  3. Sorry I'm not spending money on a new phone or laptop or using up my current data plan unless I'm getting compensated for it. But this company is too cheap to do that.

    But no there are kids coming out of school willing to work for peanuts and their own equipment for free. So management expects the same from everyone else and then tell us we to be thankful we have a job.

  4. For all its talk about social media and video etc. being the future, tellingly the company isn't prepared to actually spend money on them.

    That's probably because most of the money is still coming from the print product, though they aren't exactly investing much there either.

  5. I understand the company pays for sales departments' smartphones but editorial is supposed to purchase their own. Meanwhile how much do sales people earn vs. an average Sun reporter?
    Also, we've been waiting for three years for a video camera. I'll believe it when I see it.

  6. sales dept's?...we're lucky if we get a pencil!

  7. I heard some newsrooms now have iPhones. Maybe that's what the St. Cath. reporter takes to city council?

  8. All newsrooms have iPhones, but no one seems to know what the plan is on them and we are told to restrict their use. We haven't used ours for anything at all. It's useless for broadcast video, despite the fact the company seems to think it can be used that way. Sure, maybe in daylight it can, but not in the dark. If you don't have steady hands, the video will be shaky as hell.
    All newsrooms have, or should soon, Sony HDR-CX700V handycams. They are complete kits, but as yet no training has been scheduled for them.

    As for the social media guru's visit, some of us found it very useful, despite the fact that we don't have all the tools that are needed.

  9. Funny that there's so much hate for the social media guy. Does nobody find value in learning new tools? Not every 21st century technology requires an iPhone, laptop and brand-new computer. Most of the new technologies run on off-site servers. The owners of this blog likely know very little of any computer programming or web design languages, yet they have learned to leverage the expertise of others to communicate effectively to an eager audience.

    Anyone — regardless of tech experience, gear or financial means — can take advantage of 21st century technologies. Whining about not having a smartphone is just an excuse to keep pretending it's still 1971.

  10. No hate for the social guru in Welland. We found it interesting and useful.

  11. A smartphone? How about a functioning f---ing camera most days? How about a website that isn't an obsolete nightmare to navigate? How about giving us the tools and time to do things instead of expecting it to magically drop in their lap three or four times a day? Most staffers are eager to try new things, but damned if I'm going to pay out of my own pocket to do it for them.

  12. Only dailies received the Iphones. Weeklies, bi-weeklies and tri-weklies didn't get anything. They are supposed to be used as a "first response" for breaking news (whatever that means). I'd rather see money used for video cameras and proper editing software, which can and has been used for breaking news opposed to an Iphone. The Iphone is pointless.
    As for WWW the social media guy... he's done a good job and is a great resource. The company may have ADHD when it comes to ideas and directions but when a good idea (social media) comes along people shouldn't turn their noses at it... it's the present and future of our business.

  13. Gotta say, I agree with those who aren't as offended by this.
    Social media is a reality and using it is another tool in our toolkit as journalists.
    In *some* newsrooms, depending on the collective agreement, budgets and/or established practice, reporters are given company BlackBerries. Others have portions of their personal data/voice plans reimbursed if used for company business.
    Some newsrooms are working on a laptop system where each reporter's main computer is a company provided laptop. All you need is a WAP or an ethernet plugin.
    As to the larger question, undecided on whether it's better to get equipment with no training or training and then, eventually, maybe, equipment.

  14. I wonder how much demand there would even be for an instant blow-by-blow of Welland city council

  15. Quote: "I wonder how much demand there would even be for an instant blow-by-blow of Welland city council"

    Today's Toronto Star had a Star reporter tweeting for 3-1/2 hours(!!) from a downtown entertainment event. It was accompanied by absolute, utter crap, meaningless photos snapped by the same reporter.

    That's 3-1/2 hrs of inane, useless commentary and worse-than-amateur photos from the country's biggest, richest newspaper which prides itself on its quality journalism.

    Exactly which readers are demanding this kind of crap?

    My point is, the Sun doesn't have a monopoly on idiotic management sending untrained reporters into the social media world.

  16. Wow the last person seems to be pro Sun and anti Torstar!
    That must mean you are proudly posting from your personal equipment and happy to do so. A non employee or one that has drank the kool aid too long?