December 2011

Press Council study launched

December 19, 2011

A study to examine options for the future of Canada’s press councils has been launched.
The study will be conducted by Ryerson University’s journalism research centre at the request of Newspapers Canada, the national body representing news organizations which, in turn, fund provincial press councils.

Ivor Shapiro, chair of the Ryerson School of Journalism and an ethics professor, will oversee the study and present initial findings at the INK BEYOND national newspaper conference April 28 in Toronto.

The research will be conducted by Lisa Taylor, a lawyer and multimedia journalism instructor at Ryerson.

“The study will explore and compare existing models for press councils in Canada and beyond,” Shapiro said. “It will also seek a deeper understanding of councils’ purposes according to their various stakeholders, and explore how those stakeholders view the councils’ effectiveness.”

Press councils consider complaints from the public against member news operations in Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. However, decreased membership and funds have threatened the viability of some press councils, established to uphold freedom of speech and to consider complaints about questionable journalistic practices.

Shapiro described the study as “timely and appropriate,” considering press councils have been operating in this country for 40 years and were established at a time when newspapers’ work was delivered almost exclusively in print and to local readers.

“Today, some provincial councils are no longer active, and there appears to be disparity from one council to the next with respect to policies, procedures, and codes of conduct,” said Shapiro, who is also chair of the ethics advisory committee of the Canadian Association of Journalists. “Meanwhile, information that may start out as local news instantly reaches a national and international audience. On the other hand, the rise of the social web means that members of the public no longer depend on press councils as their only recourse for holding news organizations to account.”

Beyond collection of information, the study’s broader goal is to examine options for ensuring that public concerns about the practice of journalism are heard and addressed.

John Hinds, CEO of Newspapers Canada, said publishers on the national boards of the daily and community newspapers have endorsed the study and anticipate that its findings will help them undertake a fresh look at the way press councils function and are funded.

“The bottom line is that we recognize news operations must operate ethically under journalistic practices acceptable to the public and that there is an independent mechanism to help resolve complaints when they occur. We anticipate the research study will help us determine what is needed to ensure news organizations’ accountability.”

The study will be supported by an arms-length personal donation by John Honderich, chair of the board of TorStar.

“It is time to consider better ways to deal with issues involved in the way journalists do their job, based on ethics and accountability to the public,” said Honderich, whose father, former Toronto Star publisher Beland Honderich, was instrumental in launching Ontario’s press council in 1972.

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Access demographic data with Market Analyzer

December 16, 2011

Market Analyzer is a web-based, state-of-theart media planning tool created, delivering a completely new way to assess community media across Canada. It is the only media analysis tool that combines agriculture, demographic, socio-economic and consumer spending data with circulation information for hundreds of community newspapers in Canada.

You’ll find hundreds of community newspapers, meticulously mapped to agriculture, demographic, socio-economic and consumer spending data. Deliver single buys or campaign plans in a few clicks of your mouse.

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Canadian newspapers lauded for environmental efforts

December 9, 2011

A new report by Canopy and the Green Press Initiative recognizes the efforts of Canadian and American newspapers that are working to reduce their environmental footprint while incorporating sustainability into their brands.

Above the Fold: Environmental Leadership in the Newspaper Sector is based on a survey of the 60 largest newspapers by daily circulation in the United States and Canada.

Canadian papers and ownership groups are profiled on their production efficiencies, use of recycled fibre and corporate environment statements, among other criteria.

Read the report

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CELEBRATING 40 YEARS!

December 6, 2011

In 1972 a small group of independent minded newspaper people joined together to form the Atlantic Canadian Newspaper Association. Those early days were heady. Technology made its first tentative steps toward modernizing the industry. The look and feel of the papers improved. Investments were made in staff training.

40 years later and we are still doing all those things….and so much more.

ACNA became the focal point for industry growth. Today the association has transitioned to Newspapers Atlantic, a name that better reflects our members and our mission.  It is a vibrant association representing 70 papers from every urban and rural corner of Atlantic Canada.

Atlantic Canadians love their newspapers. Readership is at an all-time high.  Our readers are engaged online, via mobile and of course print.  Indeed, 4 out of 5 Atlantic Canadians read their paper weekly in one format or another.  With total weekly circulation of nearly 700,000 our members are the trusted source for stories that matter to our communities. It is a large industry employing over 2,200 Atlantic Canadians. An ever-growing number of advertisers appreciate our ability to deliver results.

In 2012 we are having a party to celebrate our milestone birthday. It is an opportunity to honour the past, celebrate our continued growth and embrace the future. We are taking the extra steps to make this a conference to remember by bringing in speakers such as Terry O’Reilly, host of the award winning radio show ‘The Age of Persuasion’, Craig Kielburger, a Canadian activist for the rights of children and a member of the Order of Canada, Steve Buttry, Director of Community Engagement & Social Media at the Journal Register Company, and Jacqui Banaszynski, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who currently holds the Knight Chair in Editing at the Missouri School of Journalism, to name a few.

We would be honoured for you to help us celebrate during our gala conference May 11th & 12th at the Harbourfront Marriott in Halifax.

Inez Forbes
President
Newspapers Atlantic

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2012 Better Newspapers Competition Call For Entries

December 5, 2011

Entries are now being accepted for the 2012 Better Newspapers Competition. With 31 premiere categories to choose from including best local editorial, best news story, best page design and best advertising program, every member newspaper in good standing is eligible to enter their best work.

The deadline for entries is Friday, January 27, 2012. Awards will be handed out on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel. For competition rules and forms download the 2012 Newspapers Atlantic BNC Criteria PDF.

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Long-time Chronicle Herald publisher dies

December 2, 2011

Graham W. Dennis, owner of The Halifax Herald Ltd. and publisher of the Chronicle Herald, has died at age 84. Dennis took over as publisher at the Chronicle Herald in 1954 at just 26 years old. He was the third generation Dennis to run the newspaper, which continues to operate as one of the last remaining independent dailies in Canada.

Following the news of Dennis’ passing, Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter released the following statement: “He will be remembered as a fine businessman and a great Canadian. On behalf of all Nova Scotians, (I extend) my condolences to the Dennis family and The Chronicle Herald family. Nova Scotia has lost a dear friend and a great champion.”

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