What Makes CFN Tick and WHY I Keep Writing by Jamie Gilcig – January 19, 2012

CFN  –   When I started CFN nearly three years ago my Mission statement was very clear.  After being rejected by the big three media in this market I wanted to create a platform where everyone could have a voice and be heard.
That experiment and goal has had  some great results.
As I do battle of late with the Cliques in Cornwall, and in our third year start to expose more hypocrisy and corruption I get asked why?
Well in our first year it was a humbling experience.  A lot was to be learned; relationships made; finding who as much about who does what, why, and when?   It was about connecting and trying to  move forward; but CFN took a lot of attacks.
In year two the bullying really started; mostly from a clique related to our MP and from a certain radio station.  Again, the focus was on keeping it humble and moving forward; taking the hits and the high road even though our writers were being intimidated; even being told that they could not interview people as long as they worked for “That blog.”
Anonymous letters to our sponsors.   Verbal communications to our sponsors that if they supported CFN their businesses would suffer.   Nothing new or unique, but still shocking.
In our third year we became number one online in this market; especially on smart phones and iPads, one of our fastest growing sectors.     We were the number one traffic provider to the City of Cornwall after Facebook and the search engines, and that according to City Hall.
The Cronyism; becoming more and more visible especially after the hirings of Candy Pollard who killed our two ad plans with her department, and then the hiring of Kevin Lajoie who while with Our Home Town and teaching at St. Lawrence College allegedly intimidated our journalism intern to leave us after one week while being his instructor.
Then Cornwall decided to enact this ridiculous Online advertising policy.  After one try they dropped the issue of Anonymous Comments, but from day one it was apparent what they were doing; and as of this writing we have no contracts any longer with the city.  In spite of sending 18% more traffic to the Choose Cornwall website we now have zero dollars in contracts with the city.  In spite of charging 1/26 for placement of the City Bulletin our contracts have not been renewed.   And refusing to remove their paragraph where they mislead the public stating that we are unmoderated and “often” filled with profanity and vicious personal attacks.
This is nothing more than editorial financial extortion; and they wonder why Cornwall finishes 98 out of 100 in the CFIB Communities in Boom report?
I get asked why stay?  Why invest your energy and time?  Why go through this; the lies, aspersions, two attempts to have me wrongly arrested by police, and threats?     Is it all worth it?
The answer to that last question of course at the end of the day is that it isn’t.   And then in many ways it is.  It all depends on what your goals are in life or in a project?
What I do know is that what turns me on most about CFN is when we can help.  When one of our stories reaches out and gives people a voice or we can help shine a light on things that rarely have lights shined on them, and that I could’t do without the support the near 100,000 of you that visit CFN each month and our valued sponsors.   I probably will never get rich with CFN.  Heck most months we can barely cover all of the bills; but not all rewards involve money.
I get close to 300 emails a day now. Many are solicitations and offers; but every once in a while I get one that really touches me as the one below from Kevin Glover did.
That one email helps make up for all of the petty grief I go through from the Cliques here in Cornwall.  It really does.
CFN turns three on February 9th.    Contrary to more lies and rumors we’re not leaving.  We’re number one, and this year we’re going to really up the ante and really turn it on.    I hope to share that with many of you whether you’re one of our new columnists, someone that contributes a comment in a story (writers love seeing comments) or a new sponsor as we truly grow outside of Cornwall.
I’m a simple person with very simple goals and aspirations in life.   I’ll be honest with you, amazing viewers of CFN.    Our goal to reach 5,000 pieces in three years is just about done.   That was a biggie.
Frankly it will be you that decides if  CFN continues to thrive or succumbs to the bullies and cliques.    One of our consultants keeps pushing to change our name because we’re not really just a small town local paper and we have the name Seaway Today ready to go.
Personally I like the fact that I was able to create and build CFN from Cornwall Ontario.   I’m proud that something so positive could be created from a place with so much negativity connected to it.     It’s really odd though that we get so much more applause and respect from outside Cornwall than from many circles within.    And it’s really really important to focus on how these few cliques exert more power and pressure than they should.
Most people in this town are terrific and there are some great business people as well.
Here is Kevin’s letter that resulted in this story.
My name is Kevin Glover and I am a reader of your on line news paper, although I do not read your news page as much as I should (I am still partial to CBC and globe and mail) I find your articles about the Cornwall political landscape insightful, articulated and with a depth of gravity not found in our own established publication. Your current coverage about the Glen Stor Dun Lodge debacle, and your constructive diatribes concerning city council interesting, I particularly like the articles written by Mr Komorowski, whose environmental topics are first rate
However after seeing your video segment with Kelsie Granger, I was slightly upset by the inferring remark of the deranged attacker on poor Mrs Granger I heard someone made the off hand remark that her attack would prepare her well as a social worker. While I do agree that social service work can be volatile and hazardous, I’m slightly dismayed at the perception that people who have social service workers are violent. I personally do not have a case worker or need for social service, but do know some people who have services need it for personal support.
Because of this,  I have written a personal article which deals with the subject of mental illness. Now with the clap down of Health care cost by the Cons and Flaherty leading to tightening control on Premiers decisions, (an unprecedented act which only highlights their continual abuse of the judicial system) I feel that I must make the effort to make a personal case for why health care must be protected, because as far as I can see, no one in this country seems to give a damn.
Attached to this email is a letter that I have written detailing my own account of mental health issues, several recent events have determined that I need to write this. If you find this too long or inappropriate for your website then I understand, I only wish you take the opportunity to consider that not everyone who is “mentally ill” is a danger to society, and that your readers are informed that people “ill” are not a disembodied “other”.
And that ladies and gentlemen is real.  Kevin’s story is from the heart.  It’s a plea and at the same time something for us all to think about.  That’s the magic of CFN.  Our readers and contributors.
Jamie Gilcig – Editor – CFN

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)


Island Inkjet


  1. Being rejected motivates the rejected to try harder. Jamie was rejected by the establishment and still is. Kevin was rejected by the ignorant and still is. But rejections hurts emotions and emotions drive individuals beyond rejection. Hurt soon turns to anger. Angry people get motivated to do something anything to relieve the tension of rejection. Jamie’s accomplishment has won him the acceptance of the community which is even more rewarding than the acceptance of the establishment in my opinion. Kevin’s accomplishment has won him the mental strength to voice his knowledge to the ignorant which is even more rewarding in my opinion. The rejected become the accepted and the ignorant establishment become the rejected. Success is achieved by trying.

  2. Author

    Darcy thanks for the comment; but I don’t feel hurt or rejected. I understand how cliques and cronyism work. I’m not throwing a Korey Kennedy flame out. I know who the bad guys are and it’s not the city of Cornwall; but a very small group. As Denis Carr once said “They’re not as important as they think they are..”

    but the only way my company can grow; and small business can thrive is on a more even playing field and that means that people need to smarten up or be removed from their positions.

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