CFN – Yesterday for the first time since CFN started in 2009 I truly felt like selling and moving on.
The bad guys aren’t so much winning as I’m a little discouraged at how the good guys react to bad guys, and those that stand up to them.
Covering Whistleblowers like Deputy Fire Chief Rob Hickley, Diane Shay, and a few others locally sometimes is like looking in a mirror.
I see their stress and the toll it’s taken on them and it gives me pause to look at the immense beating myself and CFN have endured for over one year now, if not since our inception in 2009.
What bothers me most isn’t the bad guys; the Mayor Kilger’s of the World, or the Rob Ford’s; the Bernadette Clement’s and David Murphy’s. What bothers me most are the “Good People.”
The ones that will come up and thank you for what you sacrifice and then do nothing. No letters or emails. No protests. No support really. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful as I do appreciate the many gestures from the public….in private; but at the end of the day how do you fight injustice without resources? How do you fight without funds against evil sleazy monkeys who use tax dollars to obfusticate their dirty deeds? Does that make sense to anyone? Is it any wonder why so few people are held accountable when our system simply is gamed for the bad guys?
When I started CFN I was told I was crazy. An online newspaper in Cornwall Ontario; one of the least literate cities in Canada. Cornwall is also one of the most difficult environments in Canada to start a small business with almost zero support unless you’re part of the clique from any agencies locally.
For example you had Denis Thibault, a councilor who also is director of the Eastern Ontario Training board, help get funding for Dream Builder Studios which was owned and run by Mark Owen; who was former Liberal MPP Jim Brownell’s campaign co manager. The running gag was that Dream Builder was only fulfilling dreams as long as the grant money held out. One of the staff (related to another city councilor) came to us looking for work because she was over 30 now and didn’t qualify for their funding.
Mr. Owen also benefitted from his friendship with Economic Development’s Bob Peters who pimped (at city expense) Dream Builder which now is much less of a dream with most of their facility rented out to non-arts related business.
Our first two years were a miracle. Our numbers were dramatic. We had some of the biggest businesses locally on board as sponsors. It was and still is an amazing story to see a small near one man shop leap to number one in a market of over 45,000 people while competing with Quebecor, Transcontinental, and Corus.
Thomas Mulcair, in his office on one of my visits on the Hill couldn’t believe CFN was such a tiny outfit; yet we were and still are.
CFN was and is an anomaly. I personally have written over 6,700 pieces in four years. There have been over 30,000 comments by our users approved of manually. There are over 1,300 videos on our You Tube channel that I’ve shot and over 10,000 images loaded used in those stories that I’ve loaded.
In May over 50,000 unique visitors hung out at CFN. Our bounce rate according to our Google Analyticator over the last 30 days is only 3.87 percent which is INSANE.
We have stories that pull in over 30,000 page views in a day or two.
Yet our piggy bank has swine flu because of a conspiratorial boycott that stems from the Mayor out. Ask Connie Vardy how she got her job at the Hospital Foundation? Ask if the Mayor played a role? Ask Roy Perkins, President of the Hospital Foundation about his actions for example, or if his business benefitted from the construction work on the Hospital project (at least in the first year) Could that be why after CFN landed a premium beer sponsor for the foundations largest fundraising event of the year we were banned from attending? This is the kind of insanity we have endured. Free beer for 500 and then a banning?
I personally have been blocked from being on any city committees. Who are on the Lay Committee that makes these decisions? People like Councilor Denis Thibault who may or may not have used his budget and connections with his day job to get another media reporter who covered the Kilger council scandal laid off.
We at CFN made an early choice not to have internet advertising on CFN. We felt that if a local business bought a banner ad there should not be some big box competitor paying pennies to compete against them in a local newspaper no matter how wide our appeal.
That decision was a sacrifice we made to support our local market and something that was appreciated until the artificial impact of the boycott. With our current traffic those types of ads would probably generate more funds than our local advertising. But that’s not how you build a community. A good community newspaper can help build local business and that’s important. Local people supporting local people. It’s immense.
We now are at a crossroads where CFN truly has to make decisions based on this artificial boycott and attempted strangulation.
I personally will not change our business model. CFN has to survive on its merits. If the good people and businesses of Cornwall want to run me out of town after what we’ve created here in Cornwall that’s what will happen.
It’s not about competing with other media. If the Freeholder would rather put hatchet jobs of me on their front page rather than real hard news that happens; that’s their choice. If Tycho Manson at Quebecor refuses to have the Freeholder apologize when Claude McIntosh states outright lies that’s their choice.
February 9th is our 5th Anniversary. If by that time things have not changed then my ownership position in CFN will be put up for sale.
At the end of the day if that happens it won’t be because of corrupt politicians like Bob Kilger and Bernadette Clement. It will be because the “Good people” of Cornwall will have decided that they prefer corruption, bullying, lies, and the utter abuse of tax dollars to cover up scandal over scandal, and repeated conflict of interest over transparency and accountability.
It will truly mean that Cornwall is toxic and darned happy about it too!
It’s that simple. It’s up to the business community and people of Cornwall to decide what type of city the they want.
I’m listening Cornwall and so is the World based on the over 2,000,000 page views per month we’ve had all of 2013.
The days of fear have to come to an end or frankly they will get worse. We have people that provide us with services for example who ask that we not share that they do for fear of getting fired or losing other work.
It’s time to push back and push back hard.
We have a list of agencies in this city that refuse to advertise on CFN for clearly non business reasons connected to the boycott as well.
After all, why would you want to pay more to advertise on venues with much less traffic? Does that make sense?
For those businesses ready to move forward feel free to call our line at 613 361 1755
We have a super special Summer offer as well.
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all you have to do is click the banner below and Paypal will do the rest.
It’s up to you Cornwall. It’s your call whether I stay or go.
It’s your call what you want Cornwall Ontario to be.
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