2018 Professional Development Day & Better Newspapers Competition Awards

June 2, 2018

The 46th annual Newspapers Atlantic Awards & Professional Development Day took place in Halifax on June 1st-2nd at the University of Kings College.


Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter Dan Barry lead a number of discussions on storytelling and writing along with panelists Maureen Googoo of Ku’ku’kwes News, Aaron Beswick of The Halifax Chronicle Herald, Tina Comeau of the Tri-County Vanguard, and Jacob Boon of The Halifax Coast.

Awards were handed out for the annual better newspapers competition in the HMCS Wardroom on Friday evening.

Download a copy of the awards book in PDF format (18 Mb)

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2018 Professional Development Training & Awards

May 8, 2018

Newspapers Atlantic members are invited to join us for a day of editorial and advertising sales training at The University of King’s College on June 1st-2nd, 2018.

New York Times reporter and columnist Dan Barry will lead a discussion on storytelling and writing for members of Newspapers Atlantic.  The author of several books, Dan writes on a myriad of topics, including sports, culture, New York City, and the nation. A Pulitzer Prize winner,  Mr. Barry has covered many major events since joining The Times in 1995, including the World Trade Center disaster, the destructive wake of Hurricane Katrina, and the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., following the police shooting death of a young black man.

Additional editorial sessions will be lead by University of King’s College Professors Sue Newhook (Improving smartphone video skills) and Fred Vallance-Jones (Demystifying data journalism).

Advertising and sales seminars will be lead by Mary Jane Copps (The Phone Lady), focusing on essential skills to reach more clients, build relationships & increase revenue. Eric Fry (Sandler Training) will lead highly interactive sessions focused on engaging prospects, establishing mutual expectations and asking tough questions to drive customer engagement for greater results.

On Friday evening, starting at 7pm, we will announce the winners of our 46th annual awards competition in The HMCS King’s Wardroom.

The University of King’s College
KTS Lecture Hall
6350 Coburg Rd, Halifax, NS

For more information and to register, contact:

Mike Kierstead
+1 (902) 402-3777

Accommodations are available at King’s starting at $57/night.
Book early! Phone (902) 422-1271 ext.277

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Newspapers Atlantic 2018 Standing Finalists

April 23, 2018

Honouring Excellence in Community Journalism

Newspapers Atlantic is pleased to announce the standing finalists for the 2018 Better Newspapers Competition. Winners will be announced on Friday, June 1st at the University of King’s College in Halifax. Join us for a day of professional development workshops followed by an evening reception and awards ceremony.

Dan Barry of The New York Times will lead our Editorial sessions, while Mary Jane Copps (The Phone Lady) and Eric Fry (Sandler Training)  will lead Advertising and Sales.


2018 Standing Finalists:

Premiere Awards:

1. Outstanding Feature Photo

Tina Comeau / Tri-County Vanguard
Sara Ericsson / Tri-County Vanguard
Ashley Thompson / Valley Journal-Advertiser

2. Outstanding News Photo

John Bastin / Guysborough Journal
Colin Chisholm / Valley Journal-Advertiser
Tina Comeau / Tri-County Vanguard

3. Outstanding Photo Essay 

Staff / Gander Beacon
Chris Lewis / Carbonear Compass
Mary Hankey / Port Hawkesbury Reporter

4. Outstanding Sports Photo 

Eric Bourque / Tri-County Vanguard
Carole Morris-Underhill / Valley Journal-Advertiser
Kate Scott / Saint Croix Courier

5. Outstanding Editorial 

Jake Boudrot / Port Hawkesbury Reporter
Andrew Brooks / Victoria Standard
Colin Chisholm / Valley Journal-Advertiser

6. Outstanding Feature Story 

Colin Chisholm / Valley Journal-Advertiser
Ashley Thompson / Annapolis Valley-Register
Colin Farrell / Marystown Southern Gazette

7. Outstanding Investigative Story 

Carolyn Barber / Victoria Standard
Tina Comeau / Tri-County Vanguard
David MacDonald / Montague Eastern Graphic

8. Outstanding News Story 

Carla Allen / Tri-County Vanguard
Helen Murphy / Guysborough Journal
Jennifer Vardy Little / Valley Journal-Advertiser

9. Outstanding Resources Story 

Colin Chisholm / Valley Journal-Advertiser
Jonathan Parsons / Clarenville Packet
Tina Comeau / Tri-County Vanguard

10. Outstanding Sports Story 

Colin Chisolm / Valley Journal-Advertiser
Matt Little / Valley Journal-Advertiser
Jennifer Vardy Little / Valley Journal-Advertiser

11. Outstanding Advertising Campaign 

Acadie Nouvelle
Victoria Standard
Shoreline Journal

12. Outstanding New Revenue Idea

Acadie Nouvelle
Tatamagouche Light
Shoreline Journal

13. Outstanding Ad Class 1

Andrew Brooks / Victoria Standard
Leah Burton / Port Hawkesbury Reporter
Evan Hildebrand and Doreen Stuart / LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin

13. Outstanding Ad Class 2

Melinda Best / Montague Eastern Graphic
Lindsay Shaw / Inverness Oran
Evan Hildebrand and Doreen Stuart / LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin

14. Outstanding Page Design

Andrew Brooks / Victoria Standard
Aura Lee Shepard / Montague Eastern Graphic
Staff / Valley Journal-Advertiser

15. Outstanding Online Innovation 

Acadie Nouvelle
Tri-County Vanguard

16. Outstanding Circulation Promotion

Montague Eastern Graphic
Port Hawkesbury Reporter
Shoreline Journal

17. Outstanding Community Engagement

Pictou Advocate
Port Hawkesbury Reporter
Tatamagouche Light

18. Outstanding Brand Builder

Montague Eastern Graphic
Victoria Standard
Inverness Oran

19. Outstanding Special Section

Montague Eastern Graphic
Tri-County Vanguard
Valley Journal-Advertiser

20. Outstanding Cartoon

Amherst News
Montague Eastern Graphic
Victoria Standard

21. Outstanding Local Columnist

Pat Cullen, Carbonear Compass
Paul MacNeill, Montague Eastern Graphic
Hugh Townsend, Pictou Advocate

General Excellence 

Class 1

Amherst News
Carbonear Compass
Pictou Advocate

Class 2

Acadie Nouvelle
Annapolis Valley Register
Valley Journal-Advertiser

Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists!

Registration details

  • $99 for full day: awards + training.
  • $50 for awards only.
  • $50 for training only.

Accommodations are available at King’s starting at $57/night.

Currently we have booked off 40 single rooms and 10 double rooms for any participants from your our group wishing to stay. Rooms are on hold until mid-May. Please call (902) 422-1271 ext.277 or email ( to officially hold and book rooms. For participants looking for a single room, the price is $57.00 a night and for participants looking for double rooms it will be $80.00 dollars a night. Breakfast is included in the rate and catering services are available on campus.


Mike Kierstead +1 (902) 402-3777



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Better Newspapers Competition – Call For Entries

December 8, 2017

Newspapers Atlantic is pleased to announce the Call for Entries into this year’s Better Newspapers Competition.

We invite all of our members to submit entries for this annual competition. The awards celebrate excellence in community media across Atlantic Canada.

Please see the included PDF format for entry criteria.

The deadline is Friday, January 26, 2018 to submit your best work.

Please note our updated mailing address: 2882 Gottingen Street, Halifax, NS B3K 3E2.

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Canadians want government advertising in newspapers

October 4, 2017

More than seven out of Canadians want to see advertising for government programs and services in newspapers, based on a survey of more than 2,400 Canadians in December 2016. In smaller markets across the country (under 100,000 population) six in ten adults believe their local community newspaper is the most appropriate medium for government ads.

Contrast this with the shrinking advertising expenditures that the federal government allocates to the third largest advertising medium in Canada (based on advertising industry data on net advertising volumes in 2016). In 2015/2016 the federal government spent less than 6% of all advertising dollars in daily and community newspapers, compared to 27% in 2009/2010.

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OP-ED: Journalism matters more than ever. We need help to save it

September 29, 2017

On Sept. 1, an agency of the Canadian government directed nearly $100-million to support local television news. Suddenly, more local television reporters are working stories on more broadcasts across Canada.

But why just television? Why not newspapers or digital-only publications? It’s the reporting of news that’s important, not the platform on which it resides.

The answer is purely bureaucratic. Television is regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which collects a levy on the revenues of cable and satellite distributors and then redirects the funds into producing content deemed to serve the public good, such as television news. Other parts of the Government of Canada, supported by the same taxpayers, have so far resisted measures to bolster an industry that plays an essential role in our democracy, one that’s even explicitly written into the Charter of Rights.

The situation is bad and getting worse. More and more newspaper jobs are disappearing—at least one in three since 2010 by our count—and newspaper closings in more than 200 federal ridings have loosened the social glue news provides to communities. These reporter-intensive organizations are the tributaries for much of the news about democratic institutions generated in Canada, both in print and online. Digital news start-ups in Canada, with a few exceptions, so far have been unable to fill the growing deficit in reporting capacity.

Please adjust the dial. There’s something wrong with this picture. This isn’t a good time to allow the weakening of news organizations. We are seeing in the United States the critical role newspaper companies, particularly The New York Times and The Washington Post, are playing in keeping the public informed of deep stresses in their democracy. The classic relationship between whistle-blowers and reporters can’t work if the latter become an endangered species.

In Canada, the threat is more acute because the market is smaller. Canadian daily newspapers have seen more than half their ad revenues—about $1.5-billion—bleed away over the past decade, most of it going to Google and Facebook, which together served up more than eight out of 10 digital ads in Canada last year. Unfortunately, they don’t invest in generating news.

Meanwhile, as the sources of verifiable news dry up, fake news—designed to disorient and disillusion the public—proliferates. Making something up or simply distorting facts costs a fraction of real reporting. Whether for commercial, partisan, ideological or geopolitical reasons, it represents a direct assault on our democracy. Again, there’s something wrong with this picture.

In many places, calling the mayor the day after council meetings for an account of what happened constitutes coverage of city hall. Even in provincial capitals, some governments go uncovered in between legislative sessions and fewer specialists work the corridors of power in Ottawa.

From a public-policy point of view, this raises vexing questions. Nobody wants to give governments leverage over the reporters meant to hold them to account. That said, the CBC is both publicly funded and independent, so it’s not an impossible task.

We see two problems that cry out for attention: getting more reporters on the ground and financing innovation so that news producers can keep up with ever-evolving consumption habits.

Last April, on the heels of The Shattered Mirror report on news, democracy and truth in Canada, the Public Policy Forum brought together about 40 news organizations and unions to propose solutions that would support employment of reporters and investment in innovation without sacrificing media independence or shutting out new competitors. Out of this process came a proposal to add a new component to the well-established Canadian Periodical Fund, one that would support journalism of a civic, or democratic enhancing, nature.

This new Canadian Journalism Fund would feature a pre-programmed formula to cover 30 per cent of the costs of reporting, creating an incentive to hire rather than fire reporters, and, critically, denying governments the discretion to play favourites. We have established a definition for who qualifies and an appeals process independent of government. As well, companies would be forbidden from diverting the funds to dividends, bonuses and debt payments. There are those who rightly worry any government involvement would compromise a free press. But a broke press isn’t much of a free press. Others contend it’s best to wait for news organizations to go bankrupt and then pick up the pieces. But once in bankruptcy court, it is the debt holders and not the public interest that is served, as we saw in 2010 when Postmedia emerged out of bankruptcy court with bondholders as owners and an unbearable burden of debt.

Some say the companies seeking assistance are doomed in any case. That may be true, but established news companies and start-ups should be given five years to prove they can make a go of it. The alternative of more and more fake news and less and less reported news is antithetical to the precepts of a healthy democracy.

Bob Cox is chairman of News Media Canada and publisher of the Winnipeg Free Press; Jerry Dias is national president of Unifor; Edward Greenspon is president of the Public Policy Forum.

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News Media Canada releases 2017 Freedom of Information Audit

September 29, 2017

News Media Canada released its 2017 National Freedom of Information Audit report earlier today, September 27, 2017. The release of this year’s report comes during Right to Know Week, and represents a key pillar of our organization’s ongoing commitment to Freedom of Information issues within the wider scope of national public affairs.

The 2017 audit reviews the performance of Canadian governments (federal, national, provincial, local) and numerous other public institutions with respect to their access to information regimes. As such, it provides the public with the opportunity to see the degree to which our governments are in compliance with their own FOI legislation, as well as facilitating comparisons among jurisdictions.

“The audit represents an important tool for asserting the public’s right to access government information,” says John Hinds, president and CEO of News Media Canada. “The results of this audit show that we’ve still got a long way to go before we really have a culture of openness and accountability around government data.”

As in previous years, the 2017 FOI audit was done in collaboration with Fred Vallance-Jones, associate professor of journalism at the University of King’s College, in Halifax. To obtain the data for the audit, a team of researchers requested the same information from the federal and provincial government, as well as a selection of municipalities across the country.

“I’ve been doing this study since 2008 and I keep hoping for the day when everyone gets an A and I can call it a day,” says Vallance-Jones. “Sadly, some are getting worse, and particularly troublesome is the worsening performance by the federal government.”

The 2017 FOI Audit report is available online here. Previous editions of the FOI Audit can be found here.

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2017 National Newspaper Week: October 1-7, 2017

September 29, 2017

Every year, during the first full week in October, newspapers across North America celebrate National Newspaper Week to acknowledge the men and women who work tirelessly to bring the news to their communities. Carrier Appreciation Day is also celebrated on the Saturday of this week to recognize the efforts of newspaper carriers young and old who make a vital contribution to the industry.

The theme of this year’s event is “Real Newspapers … Real News!” News Media Canada is pleased to provide a series of print and digital ads, as well as other resources. We encourage members to download and publish these materials during this week-long celebration and promote the enduring strength of the newspaper industry.

Download Now


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Act Now and Save News: Canadian Journalism Fund lobby kit now available

July 27, 2017

News Media Canada has created a special ‘members only’ lobby kit available on our website.

In this kit, members will find a package which contains:

  1. A checklist on how to set up your meeting
  2. A background document on the state of the industry and how the Canadian Journalism Fund came into being
  3. Frequently asked questions & answers
  4. A fact sheet that explains the Canadian Journalism Fund and how this idea came into development
  5. A briefing note that you can leave with your Member of Parliament after your meeting

Click here to access these documents (member login required).

Additional copies of these documents, as well as a library of other documents and op-eds about the Canadian Journalism Fund, can be found on our website here.

We request that you contact your local federal Member of Parliament to set up a meeting as soon as possible to discuss how they will act to help save Canadian news. We have provided a checklist with all the necessary steps to guide you through this process.

We hope you will share photos with us of your meeting with your local MP. We ask that you include @NewsMediaCanada and use the hashtag #SaveNews.

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