John E Milnes of South Stormont Ontario is not Happy with the Election Coverage of the Standard Free Holder of Cornwall Ontario – October 12, 2011

John Milnes

Mr. Peter Padbury, Publisher,

Standard Freeholder daily newspaper,

1150 Montreal Road,

Cornwall, Ontario

9th October, 2011

Dear sir:

I am writing to express my disgust with the newspaper of which you are the publisher. I am very well known, throughout this community, for my constant writings in your newspaper whether they be guest columns, specific, targeted columns or letters to the editor. It should be noted that rarely were my letters to the editor challenged and, not one of my columns ever created a controversy.

I have now determined to cease my written contributions to your newspaper. Indeed, there is a determination never to purchase another copy of the Standard Freeholder newspaper. Furthermore, it is my intention to broadcast my deliberations to all who ask and to encourage them to stop purchasing the newspaper.

The pen is mightier than the sword, but only when wielded in an environment where fairness is the byword.

Let me explain. Whilst one cannot, specifically, say your newspaper stopped anyone but a Conservative candidate from winning the recent provincial election one MUST admit the print media DOES influence the public within its domain. In fact, one would have to be completely foolish if they were to believe your newspaper DID NOT completely influence the thought processes of its readers.

With the above as a fact then the extreme bias expressed by your newspaper can only be judged as being completely unethical. I have demonstrated, through your newspaper, my own standards whereby I have been publicly critical of my own political

party. In the interests of fairness my position was undeniably the right one. If only we were able to say the same for the only daily newspaper in the main urban area of Cornwall and the neighbouring communities.

Perhaps I might be allowed to give you an example of my findings. The local candidates were all profiled in your newspaper. In each case, for the major parties, your newspaper gave the profiles in two parts. For the Conservative and the New Democratic Party [NDP] candidates there was front page coverage with continuing coverage on page two. Not so with the Liberal candidate. Your newspaper gave the Liberal candidate, an ex-firefighter, front page coverage for the first part but then had to play dirty by showing, alongside his profile, a local firefighter association’s intent to support the NDP.

Part two of the Liberal profile was on page nine, not page two as with the others. Of course, there was a reason for this. By putting part two, of the Liberal candidate profile on page nine, your newspaper was able to place a half page advertisement immediately below the profile. The advertisement was a negative one against the recipient profile for it decried this particular candidate’s lack of help to young people – BEFORE HE WAS EVEN ELECTED TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO TRY AND HELP THEM.

Next, during the campaign, I drove into the city for a press conference with reference to the Liberal candidate releasing information relative to a possible replacement road for Highway 138. Your reporter, an excellent reporter, took every detail including my answers to her many questions. Although this interview took place well before the election, it has NOT, to this date, been the subject of a report in your newspaper. One can only assume it was not the intention of your editorial staff, to waste the time and efforts of this young lady but, rather, to deny the candidate any exposure for his initiative in the interest of the travelling public and the many commuters to and from this community.


In the morning publication, on the day of the election, your editor gave an extremely damaging commentary against the Liberal candidate and then chose to publish a complete litany of Conservative biassed letters-to-the editor. He had the opportunity to include a letter from me dated 26th September, 2011, so there would be a modicum of fairness but, yet again, my letter was not used. I have become tired of writing letters-to-the editor that go unpublished so I intend to cease the practice and go to the Cornwall Free News that has a more impartial approach to serving the public need.

I could go on and on but realise it would be to no avail. I fully recognise you have no control over the manner in which your newspaper goes to press. Being simply a figure head must be difficult to live with but that is the way of life you have chosen. It is my intent to sever all relationships with your newspaper effective today.

Time will, of course, prove the ultimate judge when, after serving a full term, we can determine how much value the candidate choice of your newspaper has brought to the area. Without doubt, he will experience grave difficulties in coming even close to the achievements of the previous Liberal candidate.

Yours, etc.

John E. Milnes

Copy to: Cornwall Free News

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James Moak

1 Comment

  1. Doubt we can do much about media bias other than buy from you agree or offer a more balanced view.
    I would like to see control on what is published on the front page each election day. These front pages( paper media) are turned into advertising because of the page showing in newspaper boxes in most towns as people drive or walk by.
    The Citizen for example had poll results that could sway some votes, or even keep more people home, if that is possible.

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