Cornwall Ontario – Poor Hugo Rodrigues. I say that in jest. The former President of the Canadian Association of Journalism spewed a rant over our pathetic Ministry of Culture, Melanie Joly’s, new whatchamacalit thingy where essentially the biggest gloat was Netflix spending $500M creating content in Canada. Nothing against Netflix, but taking advantage of a lower Canadian dollars and HUGE tax credits are not contributing. They’re smart business moves.
Hugo laments the government spending big bucks advertising via Google and facebook and the challenges we media face, but he himself, and his newspaper chain, Postmedia, are a huge part of the problem.
Instead of media standing up to corporate and political entities they fight hand over fist trying to appease them to the point that they simply have little to no leverage.
As journalism’s revenue streams dry up we simply lack the resources to do what journalism truly is supposed to do.
We all, Hugo included, I’m sure do the best we can given the situation we’re in. After all, Hugo has corporate masters to keep happy or he will find himself, like so many countless other journalists, unemployed or wherever Greg Kielec is.
Instead of journalists and media outlets pulling together on common ground it’s become rats fighting over turds. It’s sad.
Recently Hugo sought more Community Editorial folk. I actually applied. While I am “competing” media he had no problem with putting that conservative cretin Phil Blancher on “his team”. Instead Hugo replied that he was seeking women, and especially women from out of town, which sounds like a Human Rights complaint issue.
Traditional media had three streams of revenue. Subscription from home delivery and newsstand sales, classified ads, and display marketing (banners, messaging, etc)
With print dead that’s one stream gone. Classifieds are all but dead thanks to the Ebay owned Kijiji, and US owned facebook.
And that leaves the one stream that has had incredible pressures put on it by governments and corporate buyers.
For example, the Seaway News gets bags o cash from the City for the pointless Bob Peters friends and family photo filled and poorly coined “Cornwall Living”. You’ll never see many of the amazing people and businesses that truly are productive in Cornwall in that mag unless they advertise in the Seaway News or are pets of Mr. Peters. That’s not Cornwall Living really, and the magazine is an open joke; especially with people from out of town.
The Ontario government is now under fire for using tax dollars to pimp its party lines by the Patrick Brown, but Mr. Brown was quite happy with Stephen Harper’s Canada Action Plan farce which spent millions currying favor with certain media chains.
Expose the truth and criticize the powers that be? In this town that led to some of this newspapers sponsors literally being threatened. Truffles wasn’t getting their patio license until they pulled their ads. Likewise, The Port didn’t get its liquor license resolved until it gave up its sponsorship from this newspaper. We literally were giving them free ads to support keeping the place alive because I’m a filmmaker.
Now not every example is as clear as those two, but it’s prevalent.
This newspaper for example has the largest readership in the region. Not only that, we reach major cities in the area and we post real raw numbers. Q2 numbers.
Yet because of corrupt politicians and civil servants, who don’t “own” this media outlet you will not see any ads, and of course they do their darndest to make sure entities within their control behave the same. That actually has hurt our local economy to the tune of millions of dollars per year.
An example being that CFN charges less per impression than facebook or google. The Seaway News for example sells those ads for a premium without the ability to provide those impressions from its newspaper; so it farms them out with some actually appearing on CFN which is kinda funny and sad. At one point we calculated that an advertiser would have to pay over $20,000 for an ad we charged $99 for!
A bunch of local businesses recently just fell for what appears to be an ad scam. Again, boycotting the only true local newspaper to be hustled by overseas criminals for advertising that in no way competes at any level with any local advertising offers? You have to be a really special kind of mentally handicapped to make those kind of business decisions.
Advertising and journalism always come down to eyeballs. Howard Stern showed this in his movie. Of course he was a shock jock on radio, and this is in fact a mainstream newspaper, even if some are too stupid to truly understand what the term “Gonzo journalism” means.
Gonzo journalism is a style of journalism that is written without claims of objectivity, often including the reporter as part of the story via a first-person narrative.
Recently, in a lawsuit that ended with South Stormont Deputy Mayor Tammy Hart, Ruth Currier, and Bob Noble hung for conspiracy and dinged for a bag of cash against my Paralegal, Mr. James Moak, the judge actually read up and discussed the subject. I was pointed out most positively in his decision as I was a witness.
All forms of journalism have one thing in common; we’re supposed to tell the truth. How we do it can be as complex as a jeweller cutting facets on a diamond, but the more truth we give you the public, the bigger the bang unless you’re a decision maker in the region.
OPG, OLG, advertise largely in the area. Why do they boycott the newspaper with the largest audience? Akwesasne Mohawk Casino and the MCA? Why do they boycott this newspaper?
NAV Can and all its local businesses, CCH, certain charities with people running them like the United Way. Get this! The United Way locally has missed its target for a few years. Look who’s on their board and who runs the joint. Again, they boycott this newspaper. This year another media outlet ran a piece saying that this year there would be no target. Does that make any sense? What does it say about a community that will allow inept corrupt freaks control of the very institutions it needs most? Communities count on the United Way. Should it be playing politics?
The Agape Food bank. Again, food banks are critical. Look at their board. Look at how they role? Look at the allegations that they buried Legion Hams at the dump, at least four pallet loads, because they only have a 10×10 freezer and didn’t want anyone to know that they couldn’t use the excess hams which again, allegedly sat in their truck over the xmas holiday. Why not simply donate them to another shelter or back door them to the poor in Cornwall instead of burying $25 hams? Ask lawyer and bag man Sean Adams who was busy, according to one source, trashing this newspaper and myself for investigating the story.
When people are in trouble and need help they come to newspapers for help. How do we help if we have no resources to work with? How does business survive and compete without advertising? McDonald’s spends more on advertising when it’s giving away free coffee than most local businesses do in total.
Is it any wonder our downtown is such a joke and our local economy is doing so poorly that we’re having to up taxes to cover depreciating property values?
So yes, Hugo, your lament, as limp as it was, is good too see, but honestly dude, you’re far too late, and have been far too much a part of the problem.
What do you think dear CFN viewers? You can post your comments below. (You can’t on the Freeholder because Bob Peters and friends don’t like public comments)
Photo: social media