Dear Quebecor & Standard Free Holder – Why the Lies? Is this Why the Public Keeps Switching to New Media? by Jamie Gilcig

Dear Quebecor & Standard Free Holder – Why the Lies? Is this Why the Public Keeps Switching to New Media?  by Jamie Gilcig

SF lieCFN – One of the reasons traditional media has lost so much ground to new media such as CFN is because of the public perception that it’s not truthful.

Recently the Freeholder ran a full page ad bestowing to advertisers mostly their numbers and good stuff.  The only thing is that if you’re not honest with the public you hurt an entire industry.

The full page ad is essentially like our monthly recap of numbers.  LINK  As anyone that read their full page ad saw they omitted CFN which for over two years has been the most read Newspaper in this market.

The Freeholder keeps referring in the many stories written about myself or CFN as a blog.   However we have broken story after story that they have refused to cover.  We are an online newspaper as our countless others in this industry.  Why the lie?

Mould in the CCU of our only hospital.  Not covered by the Freeholder.

Wal-Mart bouncing bus drivers yearly fundraiser for CHEO.  Nope, not news to the Freeholder; but when CFN covered it Wal-Mart reversed their decision and the bus drivers set a record raising $14,200 for our children.

Violent Search Warrant and nabbing of suspect.  Nope.  Not in the Free Holder.

Their reporters walk by protesters in front of City Hall refusing to cover the important issues and most gravely they attack CFN most recently straight out lying by publishing Claude McIntosh’s column that stated that I had written that Denis Thibault had been fired by the EOTB which of course I clearly had not written.   Mr. McIntosh, already nailed for his lies about Councilor Rivette and local lawyer  Etienne St. Aubin, did not have a column published this week.

Hi Brian,

I did not ever type that Denis Thibault had been fired from his job at the EOTB.
If you guys want to run amok and have fun great.  By all means do your dandiest, but let’s stick to the truth and not fiction.
I am demanding a front page retraction this week and an apology from Claude to lead off  his upcoming column.
I cc’d this to Mr. Tycho Manson of Quebecor’s Legal department.  Quebecor is the owner of the Freeholder.
Mr. Manson responded.

Dear Mr. Gilcig:


A May 21, 2013 piece on states: “Now word is that [Thibault] may be losing his plum gig as head of the Eastern Ontario Training Board.” 


There is no basis for your demand for a retraction and apology.


Yours truly,

Tycho Manson
Director, Legal Affairs
Quebecor Media Inc.

My reply:

Dear Mr Manson,

I assume that you are far too educated to not realize the very very real difference between the word “may” and stating something as fact?
I again am respectfully asking that this gross lie be remedied in the manner I’ve politely requested.
I did not type as you’ve shared with your reply, that Mr. Thibault was fired. 
Jamie Gilcig
Which resulted in:

Dear Mr. Gilcig:


The article published on your site clearly implied that Thibault had lost his position.


The Standard Freeholder will not publish a retraction or apology in relation to this matter.  Should you choose to take this further, the Standard Freeholder will defend itself vigorously and will seek to recover the costs of doing so to the full extent permitted by the court.


Your truly,

Tycho Manson
Director, Legal Affairs
Quebecor Media Inc.


Dear Mr. Manson,

That language sounds very threatening.   My piece asked a question.  It did not imply.    Even if it did imply it was not a statement of fact as Mr. McIntosh has written.
I am again asking you, and this will be my last request to do so, that the Free Holder retract and apologize for stating an obvious lie and mitigate the damage it has caused by printing something blatantly not true.
And that recovery of legal cost you mention would be a two way street as well right?   If we had to issue suit, which I’m not threatening or suggesting now, we also would have to recover our legal costs to ask a judge to rectify this lie, correct sir?
There’s been a pattern of statements that the Freeholder has been publishing via McIntosh that is very very disturbing; against myself and CFN, and against others such as Mr. St. Aubin.   Surely this is not professional or acceptable for decent journalism; especially by media that are signatories to agencies that administer standards.
Jamie Gilcig
a shift?

Dear Mr. Gilcig:


I am not threatening you.  I am telling you that if you consider this worth suing over, the SF will defend itself and will seek to recover the costs of doing so, as would be its right, assuming it is successful.   There is no basis for a retraction or apology and the SF will not be publishing one.


Yours truly,

Tycho Manson
Director, Legal Affairs
Quebecor Media Inc.
333 King Street East
Toronto, ON, M5A 3X5

Mr. McIntosh was not published this weekend as is his norm.  Hopefully he’s ok.  Maybe he’s on vacation from retirement or maybe he’s been chopped?    Why should anyone have to sue when such a blatant lie was written?  Is it all about financial damage.  Is one’s reputation and the truth always about money?

Why lie?  Why spin?  Why not just work harder and compete?   It’s not rocket science.  Why throw voodoo numbers out to confuse the public and cause more distrust of our industry?

Why brag about 600K pageviews per month and lie about being number one when the Freeholder hasn’t been number one in over two years, and CFN has not had a month under 2 million page views per month in all of 2013?

Anyone can go to and get an apples and apples and oranges and oranges web traffic comparison.  24/7 – it’s an industry standard.

As I write this CFN’s Canadian rankings as of print time is:  4,216.     The Freeholder’s is 5,546, their highest rating of the year and partially done by writing about myself and CFN which they’ve done 5 times in six weeks including two front page stories! measures Social Media footprint.   CFN’s Klout score is 63 on a scale of 1-100 with 100 being best.  The Freeholder’s Klout score; 54.   Nothing to be ashamed of, but certainly nowhere near being number one.

The sad question; the big question; the money question is simply why omit CFN from this chart if you truly are number one?  Why refuse in story after story to refer to us as a Blog instead of the fact that we are not only an online newspaper, but the most read newspaper in Cornwall?   And if we were a blog then are you stating that a long standing newspaper can’t keep up with a blog?

There’s no shame in being number two.  We were.  If you want to be number one work harder.  Compete.   Earn your readers.  Don’ t lie to them.  And stand up for the public and serve the public like CFN does if you truly want the public’s support.

Recently there was an awesome story that pulled in over 40,000 pageviews in a single day and was picked up on Bourque Newswatch.  The people called us because the Free-Holder was closed on a Saturday.   At least that was what they said.    News is 24/7.   There are no days off. There are no moments off.  Bourque btw is the Drudgereport of Canada.   CFN is on their homepage under news publications.  The Freeholder?  Nope.   I’m listed as a pundit on Bourque.  Anyone from the Freeholder?  Nope.  Which is the true news outlet?   Most of the Freeholder is Sun chain material.  Nothing wrong with that as they are a proud part of the Sun chain.  Local content?  Um…erm….

Serve the public and tell the truth.   The public will decide the rest.

Because once you’re caught lying; as the Freeholder has; then it casts a shadow on everything a management team and ownership stand for and have done.

How many other stories did the Free Holder not share with Cornwall?  How many others did they lie about?

Only they can answer that.

Fight fair Brian and Peter.  Don’t tarnish the lustre that over 200 years of history have gone into the Freeholder and this proud community.   We all deserve better.

And this is also a lesson about how important locally owned media are to the life of a community.

Rock on!

Jamie Gilcig – Editor – The Cornwall Free News, #1 and the most read Newspaper in Cornwall Ontario since 2010!


A reader sent in the following:

Read your piece. While you are on the topic of lies you might want to point out the S-F has not been in existence since 1846. They are off by almost 100 years. If anyone, the people running the S-F should know that!!

There were two newspapers.  The Standard and The Freeholder.  One was Conservative by nature and one was Liberal.  The Free Holder didn’t even look at their own Wikipedia link to accurately portray their history to the public.

The Standard-Freeholder is a daily newspaper in Cornwall and the counties of StormontDundas and Glengarry. The Cornwall Standard Freeholder is one of the oldest newspapers in Canada.

The current newspaper began as two publications, the Freeholder, which was founded by the first premier of OntarioJohn Sandfield Macdonald, and the Standard.

The two newspapers were amalgamated in 1932 and the first issue was published on April 30 of that year. The Standard-Freeholder became a daily newspaper on April 1, 1941.

If you can’t get your own dates accurate what does that say about your Standards?  🙂

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