May 2013

Newspaper ink in her blood

May 24, 2013

The unpredictability of our province’s weather is a given, and so was the passion for writing for Terri Saunders, who suddenly passed away at her Gander home on May 12.

She was laid to rest in Gander on Friday.

Terri’s love of putting pen to paper came at an early age, as she explained to all who would read her column, Full Circle, in the Oct. 6, 2011 edition of The Beacon.

“When I was a kid, I was a prolific writer. I wrote in journals and I wrote poetry and I made up stories about haunted houses and ghosts. As I grew up, I only had one answer when asked what I wanted to do for a living — I wanted to write. I didn’t really care in what capacity or under what circumstances. I simply wanted to spend my days writing.”

And spend her days writing she did, especially after deciding to enroll in the journalism program at Algonquin College in Ottawa.

While still a student at Algonquin College, she got her first journalism job, as a summer student in 1996 with The Beacon in her hometown of Gander.

It was the first of several places where Terri would work during her journalism career.

She also told the stories of the people in such places as Lewisporte (The Pilot), Labrador City-Wabush (The Aurora), Cornwall, Ont. (Cornwall Standard-Freeholder), and Ottawa, Ont. (The Ottawa Sun).

Along the way, she collected Canadian, Ontario and Atlantic Canadian newspaper awards and nominations that portrayed her range of reporting and writing skills, including a second-place Atlantic Canadian Newspaper Association Award for Best General Interest Column in 2000, and an Ontario Newspaper Awards for her coverage of a series of criminal trials involving prominent residents of Cornwall who had been accused of child sexual abuse. She was also part of a team of reporters who worked on the story of the closure of Domtar, a paper mill owned by a company considered to be Cornwall’s most significant employer. This earned the newspaper its first-ever National Newspaper Award nomination.

Her most recent award came earlier this month when she was named a standing finalist in the Spot News Photo category for the Newspapers Atlantic Better Newspapers Competition.

Terri moved back to Gander in 2010. From October, 2011, until her sudden passing last Sunday, she worked as a full-time reporter/photographer with the community newspaper, which prompted her to appropriately title her column for The Beacon, Full Circle, as this is exactly how she felt about her return to the newspaper she grew up reading.

In that Oct. 6, 2011 column, she opened with, “A decade and a half has passed since I wrote my first column for The Beacon and I have to admit – this is a full-circle moment I honestly could never have foreseen happening.”

This unexpected return to Gander was prompted by her first and most important passion — her family.

As passionate as she was about writing, never a day went by that her stories didn’t venture into her family of life about her mother Shirley, father Lloyd, stepmother Sue, late sister Laurie-Ann, stepbrother Matt, or various aunts, uncles or friends.

Stories were a constant in Terri’s life, and whether you read them in the pages of the newspapers she worked at or listened to her around the lunch table, she had a flair for bringing them to life for all to enjoy and understand.

We may not have the privilege of reading or hearing new stories from Terri, but be assured her words are forever etched in the memories of those who knew her professionally and as a friend.

For us at The Beacon, we had the honour of knowing and enjoying her time with us in both venues.

To Terri’s family, we send our heartfelt condolences. May you all be strong in this time of sorrow, but may you also remember her stories, as these will bring back your fondest memories — ones that she had the opportunity to share in print with many people.

Rest in peace, Terri.

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Fred Fiander has been named president of the board of directors of Newspapers Atlantic

May 15, 2013

Fred Fiander, publisher of the western Nova Scotia weeklies group of Transcontinental Media, has been named president of the board of directors of Newspapers Atlantic, the industry association representing 70 member newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada. He also represents Newspapers Atlantic on the board of the Canadian Community Newspaper Association.

He was named to the position at the association’s annual general meeting held Saturday, May 11, in Halifax in conjunction with the 2013 annual conference.

Fred and Greg

Fred Fiander (left), president of Newspapers Atlantic, accepts a Silver Quill Award from Canadian Community Newspaper Association president Greg Nesbitt.

Addressing conference delegates he acknowledged the industry’s state of flux. Digital technology and social media are changing the way news is delivered. But technology is also opening up doors of possibility for delivering marketing solutions for advertisers. Advertising is no longer just about buying space in the local newspaper, he says.

The strength of the industry remains its ability to deliver local news and Fiander told delegates, “We need to get better about talking about ourselves and telling people just how good we are.”

In the next year, he will assume a leadership role, not only in stewarding the association’s activities on behalf of the industry, but also in overseeing the association’s commitment to the Georgetown Conference, set to take place in PEI this October.

The mission of the conference is no less than to be the spark that ignites the revitalization of Atlantic Canada’s rural economy. The conference aims to gather 250 delegates, selected from across Atlantic Canada to reframe the definition of rural through revitalization and action at the community level.

Conference organizers say the Georgetown Conference is about “harnessing the spirit that exists in every rural community and arming those local leaders … with ideas that they can transfer to their own communities.”

Fiander says the collective power of Newspapers Atlantic will be focused on generating pre-conference interest, identifying speakers and delegates, and maintaining momentum at the conference’s conclusion.

“Communities are as vital to their paper as the local paper is to the community. Getting involved with a conference aimed at building rural communities was a no brainer,” he said.

Fiander has been around newspapers for more than 25 years, since he began working in the Yarmouth Vanguard office. In the intervening years he has worked at various levels within the industry.  With Transcontinental Media, he assumed management roles, as a site manager, general manager and later as publisher and group publisher.

At the 2013 conference’s Better Newspaper’s Competition banquet, the Newspapers Canada, formerly the Canadian Community Newspapers Association, recognized Fiander’s contributions to the industry with a Silver Quill Award, celebrating 25 years of service.

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2013 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners – Rick and Anne Cluett

May 13, 2013

Port Hawkesbury, Cape Breton is a place where big news happens.

In the past 30 years the hardscrabble town that is bordered by the counties of Richmond, Inverness, Guysborough and Antigonish has seen more than its fair share of heartache.

Industries have come and gone. There was the heavy water plant and gypsum plant, call centres, and a continuing cloud that has hung over the pulp mill, the anchor of the local economy. There were fly-by-nighters who promised a better future but only delivered unfulfilled pipe dreams.

And these don’t begin to account for the local political scandals that made provincial and national headlines.

Our honourees tonight have enjoyed a front row seat to the boom, bust and bankruptcy roller coaster that all too often has dominated their front pages.

It’s a damn good thing Rick and Anne Cluett have an upbeat perspective on life, because the unpredictability of the Strait Area economy would drive many a weaker couple to greener pastures.

Perhaps they knew they were already in greener pastures.

The Strait Area is their home. They at home with its rolling hills, rugged coastlines, scrappy and optimistic people and strong Scottish traditions.

A native of Port Hawkesbury, Rick started his working career as a lab technician at the pulp mill then called Nova Scotia Forest Industries.

Anne Cluett grew up in Arisaig, a tiny spot at the end of the road outside Antigonish. Her first media job was working in the traffic department for CJFX Radio.

In 1972 she joined the sales department at The Scotia Sun, then owned by her brother Marcie. Three years later Rick left his secure mill job to become Sales Manager at the Sun.

Forty years on, they are still a dynamic duo producing compelling, award-winning papers. Over the years their efforts have earned several dozen regional and national awards including multiple General Excellence Awards.

In 1985 they took perhaps the biggest risk of their career, leaving The Scotia Sun for the upstart Port Hawkesbury Reporter and its new owner Bruce Murray of Advocate Publishing. Rick became publisher, Anne Sales Manager.

The media environment in the Strait Area was as competitive as any in Canada. The Sun and The Reporter went head-to-head every week, vying to beat the other with the next great industrial scoop. There was the Inverness Oran, a powerhouse of local content up the road. Local radio stations in Antigonish and Port Hawkesbury and a local presence by two dailies.

The Reporter earned its chops at investigative journalism and The Cluett’s always supported the focus of the editorial department despite the often precarious state of the local economy.

The strategy proved a winner.  In 1992 Advocate purchased The Sun and the future looked promising. But less than a year later old hell broke loose with news that the pulp mill was targeted for closure.

Rick and Anne organized a special section focusing on all aspects of the crisis. It was a massive success and may be partially responsible for the decision by the mill’s board of directors not to close but rather invest in a massive modernization.

Prior to the meeting and its high stakes decision, copies of the Reporter’s special section was distributed to the board of directors by none other than the President of Stora Forest Industries. The mill was saved, modernized and hummed along…until last year when once again it was targeted for closure and once again escaped the chopping block.

Such is the reality of life and publishing in The Strait Area.

Together Rick and Anne have raised three children: Sarah, Jenny and Allan.  They are the proud grandparents of three.

And tonight we are honoured to recognize Rick and Anne Cluett with Newspapers Atlantic Lifetime Achievement Award.








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2013 Newspapers Atlantic Better Newspapers Competition Winners

May 12, 2013

Newspapers Atlantic is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Better Newspapers Competition. Winners were announced Saturday, May 11 during the Newspapers Atlantic 41st annual conference in Halifax.

Congratulations to all the finalists!

General Excellence:   


Class 1:    

Grand Falls Windsor Advertiser – Winner

Port Aux Basques Gulf News

Windsor Hants Journal


Class 2:    

Bathurst Northern Light

Gander Beacon

St. Stephen Saint Croix Courier – Winner


Class 3:    

St.Anthony Northern Pen

Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin – Winner

Clarenville Packet


Outstanding Photographer Award  

Carole Morris-Underhill – Windsor Hants County Journal

Vern Faulkner – St. Stephen Saint Croix Courier

Adam Randell – St. Anthony Northern Pen – Winner


Outstanding Salesperson Award
Sponsored by Resolute Forest Products    

Maxine Drake – Marystown Southern Gazette

Chris Frost – Digby Courier

Sharon Riley – Montague Eastern Graphic – Winner


Outstanding Journalist Award
Sponsored by Atlantic Business Magazine  

Belle Hatfield – Yarmouth County Vanguard

Terry Roberts – Carbonear Compass – Winner

Ashley Thompson – Windsor Hants Journal


Best Advertising Program

Sponsored by Red Dragon Marketing

Joanne Chaffey – Lewisporte Pilot

Kathy Wagner – Kings County Register – Winner

Michele White – Windsor Hants Journal


Best Cartoon  

Robert Denton – Pictou Advocate

Jason Freeman – Kings County Register

Ted Michener – St. Stephen Courier Weekend – Winner


Best Christmas Issue
Sponsored by Metro Creative Graphics  

Lewisporte Pilot

St. Anthony Northern Pen

St. Stephen Saint Croix Courier – Winner


Best Circulation Promotion

Gander Beacon

Montague Eastern Graphic – Winner

Port Aux Basques Gulf News


Best Community Service

Lewisporte Pilot

Pictou Advocate

Port Aux Basques Gulf News – Winner


Best Feature Photo 

Greg Bennett – Shelburne County Coast Guard

Laura Button – Clarenville Packet

Sherry Martell – Colchester Weekly News – Winner


Best Feature Series

John Gillis – Inverness Oran – Winner

Wendy Elliott – Kings County Register

Christopher Vaughn – Stephenville Georgian


Best Feature Story
Sponsored by Resolute Forest Products  

Adam Randell – St. Anthony Northern Pen – Winner

Ashley Thompson – Windsor Hants Journal

Andrew Wagstaff – Cumberland County Citizen-Record


Best General Interest Column

Wendy Elliott – Kings County Advertiser – Winner

Beth Irvine – Kings County Register

Michael Johansen – Happy Valley Goose Bay Labradorian


Best Graphically Designed Ad

Tanya Barry – Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin

Kim Walters – Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin – Winner

Gail Flaherty – St. Stephen Saint Croix Courier


Best In House Promotion

Tina Comeau – Yarmouth Vanguard

Tina Hennigar – Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin – Winner

Laura Thompson – Enfield Weekly Press


Best Investigative Story   

Jonathan Charlton – Montague Eastern Graphic

Stacey Colwell – Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin – Winner

Ashley Thompson – Windsor Hants Journal


Best Local Editorial
Sponsored by Boyne Clarke 

Bill Bowman – Carbonear Compass

Barbara Dean-Simmons – Clarenville Packet – Winner

John DeCoste – Kings County Register


Best National Editorial
Sponsored by Boyne Clarke 

Vernon Oickle – Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin

Terry Roberts – Carbonear Compass – Winner

Brodie Thomas – Port Aux Basques Gulf News


Best News Photo

Scott Doherty – Sackville Tribune-Post

Jamie Lewis – Happy Valley Goose Bay Labradorian – Winner

Terri Saunders – Gander Beacon


Best News Story
Sponsored by Corporate Research Associates  

Lisa Brown – Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin – Winner

Carole Morris-Underhill – Windsor Hants Journal

Tammy Scott Wallace – Kings County Record


Best Original Advertising Idea
Sponsored by Revolve  

Penny McDonald – Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin

Sharon Riley – Montague Eastern Graphic – Winner

Michele White – Windsor Hants Journal


Best Overall Ad

Tina Hennigar – Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin

John Maclean – Shoreline Journal

Angie Pearson – Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin – Winner


Best Page Design

Abby Cameron – Fall River Laker

Aura Lee Shephard – Monatgue Eastern Graphic

Barbara Wentzel- Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin – Winner


Best Photo Essay
Sponsored by Ulnooweg Development Group  

Jeff Gill – Truro Hub Now – Winner

Nicholas Mercer – Carbonear Compass

Rachel Psutka – Antigonish Casket


Best Red Lobster

Gander Beacon

Shelburne County Coast Guard – Winner

St. Stephen Courier Weekend


Best Resources Story
Sponsored by Resource Recovery Fund Board  

Terry Roberts – Carbonear Compass

Tammy Scott Wallace – Kings County Record

Brodie Thomas – Port Aux Basques Gulf News – Winner


Best Small Ad

Maxine Drake – Marystown Southern Gazette

Penny McDonald – Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin

Angie Pearson – Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin – Winner


Best Special Section

Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin

St. Stephen Courier Weekend

St. Stephen Saint Croix Courier – Winner


Best Specialty Column

Sara Mattinson – Oxford Journal

Nick Mercer – Carbonear Compass

Jonathan Riley – DIgby Courier – Winner


Best Sports Photo

Adam Jacobs – Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin – Winner

Brian Mumford – St. Stephen Saint Croix Courier

Jamie Roach – Sussex Kings County Record


Best Sports Story or Feature
Sponsored by Canada Games Centre  

Adam Jacobs – Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin – Winner

Corey Leblanc – Antigonish Casket

Andrea Gunn – Grand Falls Windsor Advertiser


Best Website    

Antigonish Casket – Winner

Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin

Montague Eastern Graphic



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2013 Newspapers Atlantic Better Newspapers Competition

May 6, 2013

Newspaper publishers and staff from across Atlantic Canada will come together on Saturday, May 11 to honour the very best in the community newspaper industry at the 2013 Better Newspapers Competition awards gala.

Held in conjunction with Newspapers Atlantic’s 41st annual conference, the annual awards gala is hosted by Eastlink Television’s Scott Squires.

Click here for a list of finalists

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Mike Lipkin will keynote the 41st annual Newspapers Atlantic conference.

May 5, 2013

Mike Lipkin is president of Environics/Lipkin, the Motivation Company in the Environics Research Group — one of Canada’s leading research houses.

He is also one of Canada’s preeminent speakers. Last year, he delivered 120 seminars to more than 100 000 people in 19 countries.

His mission is to give people the insights that inspire them into powerful action.

The distinctions that he has gathered from talking to a million people in forty-three countries since July 1993, combined with the insights from the celebrated Environics Social Values research, is how he offers his clients the best of all worlds: a powerful blend of ideas and principles that help them achieve amazing results.

Mike’s clients include Deloitte, Pfizer, DHL, GE, Wells Fargo, Abbott, Novartis, Enbridge, Nissan, Canada Goose, Merck, Tata Communications, NSK, Astra Zeneca, Wal-Mart, Starwood Hotels, and Procter & Gamble.

In line with his philosophy that life is theatre with consequences, Mike promises to inspire, educate, and entertain.


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