Cornwall Ontario – Eight is a mystical number.  It’s also a version of the infinity sign if you turn it sideways.

The Cornwall Free News turned eight this week, on the 9th.    I decided to not have any fanfare or major celebration as the last time I did so, our 5th anniversary, I was falsely arrested by the Cornwall Community Police Service on charges of making threatening phone calls which records show I clearly never made.  (threatening or otherwise.)

CFN is at a crossroads.  It’s the 6th year of a conspiratorial boycott led by City Hall which is kinda insane.   This newspaper is for sale, but media isn’t the best business to be in the year 2017.

We pull in over 1 million human pageviews per month and still growing.   From a little berg like Cornwall that’s six flavours of amazing.     Does anyone really think it helps Cornwall for this boycott to be public?  What message does that send to the sixty or so percent of our audience that’s from outside of Cornwall?

Don’t move here.  Don’t even think of starting a real business.   Corruption has led to brutally high taxes that are going up at an even faster rate as local industry closes.  That you can negotiate huge breaks on your MPAC evaluations due to dropping property values?   That we cite seniors for playing Abba?  Kill kids ice rinks and stop them from selling worms?    And that we try to kill local business if it’s not built by non local people?   Those are not messages that lead to growth and they all sit at the feet of those at council and certain managers that seem to essentially be paid to hurt the community.  It’s boggling at the very least….

Journalism is a dying trade as people, while still clamoring for real news, don’t seem to want to pay for it?  It’s a challenge that all media outlets face.

The biggest problem facing journalism is that big corps have been allowed to gobble up most of we Independents which makes it easier for their fellow corporations and government to lean on them, essentially censure what they write about.

When I defended our area twice successfully against Wal Mart for example it all but insured that we’d never get an ad from the money machine that it is even though it wastes metric tons of cash on print ads in other area media that can’t come close to our viewership.

In fact in Cornwall the newspaper with the most actual ads has about the lowest readership.   It’s essentially non content, and because they charge less than the Seaway News does for its ads many of their long time advertisers have bailed on them.    Which is insane as the only real reason any entity should advertise is to gain visibility to large pools of viewers, especially if those viewers are their key demographics.  This newspaper that very few read actually has more pages per edition now than the Seaway News, mostly in ads.   That’s insane.  (And good for Mike Piette who is probably the best media sales rep in the area which also calls into question the business savvy of most of his clients)

And then when their businesses struggle or fail they blame things like advertising.

CFN for example not only charges less and offers more value, but has products our local competition simply do not offer.   We also are more result centric.   Many business people don’t understand how important it is not only to advertise and market, but to make sure that they are doing so properly.  It’s not enough to just show your logo and hope.

All that being said the challenge facing CFN and all media is how to generate enough income to keep the lights on.

As one of our city councilors likes to joke about, I tend to do just about everything to keep CFN running.  I’d love to have more help and staff; but without more revenue that can’t happen, especially as long as the boycott by the City continues.  (can you imagine a city trying to kill not only a locally grown business, but other local businesses that simply want to advertise where they please?  We had one local business pull their ad after sharing that we sent them three times as much traffic as all the other media combined because they had another business with city contracts that were threatened)

The good news is that a recent court decision exposed a first conviction of conspiracy against the interests of this newspaper.  More to come soon hopefully….

We have already added digital ads which I never wanted to do.     We have a new subscription/donation button (click below) because nothing of value in this world is truly free.   If we had $1 per month from every viewer of CFN we’d be able to add 4-6 good emerging media jobs in this community which means we’d be able to deliver more of the content that our viewers love to click on.  I’ve actually had to turn down several stories this year because of the time and resources it would take to cover them.

Our last option is a limited paywall.   That would mean you the viewer would have to pay to click on certain stories.

We all deserve to be compensated when we do good work.   We have some terrific contributors to CFN and have this amazing policy where our writers get 50% of any sponsorship of their columns.   It’s a terrific value for sponsors as well as their ads in column essentially are ever green.

So if you’re still reading this please ponder the value of CFN to you.  It might be a lot; it might be less, but it certainly is of value.

What can you do to help?

Keep reading.   Please share our content on social media and with your friends and family.

Please comment on our stories on CFN and on our social media channels too!  Your voice counts.   How many media outlets have a Mission Statement like ours?  Oddly enough, even though our statement has been live since 2009 a city lawyer has tried to justify the boycott by suggesting that CFN is a blog instead of an Online Newspaper which as idiotic a statement as that is, has been accepted by many of our elected officials.

Mission Statement

CFN is an online newspaper whose Mission is to give voice to the many who’d never have an opportunity to have a voice whether via op-ed, letters, or comments on stories.

To be non-partisan and allow voices to be heard even though our ownership, editors, staff, sponsors, and viewers may not always agree with them.

For people to have voice, but still do so in a safe manner although they may be challenged strongly for those opinions.

And that by creating a forum to share unfiltered news and opinions that we may as a society speak to each other and exchange ideas that can lead to growth of our culture, community and society in a positive manner and show people that they do count; their voices do count, and that anyone can change their world.

Please support our sponsors because without sponsors we’d either have to shut or offer a much less limited service.

Please tell other businesses you support, especially car dealers like Troy Hickman and Real Estate professionals that you support CFN.   (Troy apparently lost a retired client who buys a new car every year because he boycotts CFN)

Please hit that donation button and make like it’s Christmas.   CFN needs to refill it’s cups with doubloons.  We know some of you can afford a good donation to help keep us rolling.

Special thanks to the many of you who have been with us since 2009.

Here’s hoping to a magical 2017!

And we’re still running our special offer of a banner in our rotation for only $249 for the entire year! (300×250 or 468×90 pixels)   Dial 855 444 1133 to book yours today.

Together people can make great things come true!



  1. STARVED FOR THE NEWS? Congratulations to CFN on 8th anniversary….Don’t know how you managed to stay alive??? Media in this day and age is taking a hell of a kicking. Whether news media, radio or television we are now seeing the remnants of the power of the pen .. trouble is the ink has dried out…! I fully endorse CFN for being candid and proper in printing the gossip for the baby boomers..

  2. Author

    Thanks Ron, although one correction; we don’t print gossip.


  3. CFN isn’t gossip but real news. The likes of Seaway News and Standard Freeloader is gossip and toilet paper. If the papers wasn’t full of ink and other garbage I would use it as toilet paper but it has other uses for those who have dogs to train as well as cleaning windows and mulching in gardens. CFN is the very best and I mean that fully including Jamie.

  4. The problem in Cornwall is that the people are so used to living in LA LA Land where the papers would put out the best looking dog or who is playing such an instrument or whatever but not news at all until Jamie came along and spoke many truths. When I look at Cornwall’s toilet papers of record I roar with laughter – Jamie is the very best and I cannot say better. I love this paper CFN.

  5. Author

    Jules I don’t think the SN or SF write gossip although I do wish they’d tackle more real news….

  6. Two suggestions…
    1: Limit comments to one or two a day per person.
    2: More stories that aren’t Cornwall-centric.

  7. Author

    Furtz we have a new Toronto writer starting. Also, if the audience doesn’t pitch in and help we can’t get the resources to get more writers. It’s a catch 22.

  8. Jamie yesterday I had an e-mail from a media head and he wanted my help along with others for a certain thing and I told him about a few of the problems that we had in Cornwall and I named Cornwall and you can guarantee that I don’t hold things back and Cornwall’s reputation is black and getting worse every day. No good person would ever move to Cornwall. We would go elsewhere but never Cornwall

  9. Author

    Jules what media head emailed you?

  10. Since when does SF or Seaway rag write good and real articles? Jamie your paper is the only one in that God Forsaken town that writes real articles. I mean what I say and that is something about me I don’t hold things back. I would never return to Cornwall. I think it is two or is it three years that I stepped foot in Cornwall for a fast visit.

  11. Author

    Jules you said they wrote gossip. I never stated that they wrote good or bad articles. I stated that they don’t write gossip and that I wished they’d tackle more hard news so that all media would be treated equally instead of the corruption that exists.

  12. Jamie I was thinking about something today but went out with my daughter. You once had a real estate agent who advertised with you – did the clique get hold of him too? Honest to God I swear to you on both my Bibles that I would never return to Cornwall ever again to live. I would be very lucky just to step a foot there for a visit. I could never handle such a place.

  13. Author

    Oddly enough Jules the Real Estate and Car industry locally have been the biggest losers in boycotting CFN. We had a study done and one dealership was estimated to lose between 20-24 sales per year by boycotting CFN.

    For real estate it’s worse as about 60% of our traffic goes to the exact markets that the new developers especially are needing to attract seniors from Ottawa and Montreal.

  14. holy Hanna Batman…..sorry folks for using the word “gossip”….. Considered news and ” hey Martha ” news…sorry if I offended the reason why I decided to drop a line to CFN….obviously you can’t read between the lines..or perhaps you can….but have a one track outllook on life…..well I don’t!

  15. Jamie this is terrible news but I want to say something to you my friend. Seniors alone cannot support Cornwall or anywhere and it takes jobs for the young or Cornwall will be toast and I mean that. Jamie you have the best paper in Cornwall and that is the truth. I will tell you something in the next paragraph.

  16. Author

    It’s all good Ron. 🙂

  17. Jamie I just glanced at Cornwall’s toilet papers of record Seaway News and Standard Freeloader and I noticed that Fabricland is closing just after a mighty short time in Cornwall – taxes very high and sales way down and I told all of you that businesses in Cornwall cannot survive. Close down the town and use only for hydro electricity and move everyone out.

  18. Without Fabricland I would never ever step foot in Cornwall at all for anything. That is my home away from home including the library and some other stores. Cornwall has half or less the population than what the signs says. People will all have to leave and just flood the town over with water from the dam for hydro electricity. All graveyard and houses must be moved out of town for good.

  19. I love Cornwall but haven’t lived there since 2008.

    I just deplore the mainstream media and the political establishment there, especially the pseudo-progressive Liberal Party curs that control my NDP!

    Having attended the 2012 leadership convention in Toronto and having worked closely with real New Democrats like Ed Broadbent and Emilie Taman, I know the difference.

    Drain the swamp, Jamie!

  20. Jamie your paper is the best in town and you right logical stories. What I wrote about SF was that they would put in certain families about what they did like in music (about their kids or talking about their pets) and things like that and not real news the way things are today. You speak real news and they cannot compete with you at all. SF was and is so small town.

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