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Black Press and Victoria News


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#1 Holden West

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 06:02 PM

Shake up at Vic News, from Sean Holman's Public Eye blog:

Victoria News editor Keith Norbury was fired today, Public Eye has exclusively learned, two days after one of his senior reporters - Brennan Clarke - resigned. The firing follows an advertiser complaint about an article published earlier this month by the newspaper. In an interview, Vancouver Island News Group president Mark Warner confirmed Mr. Norbury's firing was, in part, connected to the complaint. "There were a number of issues," he said. "But that was certainly one of them." Mr. Warner declined to say what those other issues may have been. Nor would he elaborate on how the complaint was connected to the firing.


read the whole story here:

http://www.publiceye... ... .html#more
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#2 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 06:41 PM

Wow... thanks for the heads-up -- I have neglected my reading of Sean Holman lately and would have missed this! Too bad -- Keith Norbury was pretty good, I thought. What's the story with Brennan Clarke, I wonder? He was really settling in...??

Ah, PS: never mind, I just skimmed Sean's entry. Car ads, what else? Man, the T-C and Black Press are hostage to the car lobby, aren't they? (Well, and T-C is also hostage to the Big Boy Tour Guides at Butchart Gardens & at the Empress, remember remember Vivian Smith's firing...)
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#3 G-Man

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 08:49 PM

Too bad Brennan Clarke had to go out that way. I have never agreed with anything he said but raising a stink over that article is insane. I truly fell bad for both of these people. Well another reason to get your news here folks, User contibutions and you won't get fired (unless you quote star wars too often).

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#4 aastra

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 08:20 AM

It really is amazing what a journalist can (and can't) be fired for in Victoria.

#5 Caramia

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 12:51 PM

Maybe Monday will take him on.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
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#6 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 01:01 PM

Maybe Monday will take him on.


I'm not sure if you are joking or not. :?

#7 Caramia

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 01:50 PM

I am a woman of mystery.
;)
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#8 osmich

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 04:51 PM

Car dealers are the SCUM of the earth and would sell their mothers to make a buck.

Clearly the margins are very tight in the car business and anything to throw things off a bit would freak them out.

Black should be seeing a wrongful dismissal suit with this one.

#9 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 06:36 AM

Black should be seeing a wrongful dismissal suit with this one.


I so hope you're right. That "press" needs a reminder of why they newspapers exist. If they can only make money by falsifying (or spiking) news, they don't deserve to be in business and should be shut down. Monopolies, lack of competition, media concentration: all of that has always been bad news (no pun intended).
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#10 Holden West

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 10:05 AM

[url=http://www.publiceyeonline.com/archives/002624.html#more:da088]More on the controversy courtest Sean Holman[/url:da088]:

But is it appropriate for executives to talk to editorial staff about the impact their stories can have on advertising, as happened in the case of Messrs. Clarke and Norbury? "Do you think that there is no link between advertising and editorial," responded [Black Press CEO] Mr. O'Connor. "I think there's a huge difference between paid daily newspapers and free community newspapers" - like the Victoria News.


Click above to read the whole story, including a leaked e-mail. The fact that it was leaked to Sean demonstrates Black Press staff are unhappy about this.

Nothing of course about this in Monday this week. You know Russ Francis would be all over this if it were the Times Colonist. Too bad his editors have put the clamp down on him on this controversy.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#11 Holden West

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 10:16 AM

[url=http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/departments/ad_circ/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003633935:416b7]Black Press announces[/url:416b7] two new free newspapers in the Seattle area.

Get ready, Seattle, for all the non-controversial news you can handle!
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#12 Gregory Hartnell

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 06:28 PM

+++
This news does not surprise me. Black Press under local media mogul David Black is following in the footsteps of that other notorious defender of unbridled corporatism, Conrad Black. Although not related by blood, the modus operandi of both has been similar. They inflate their circulation figures in attempting to sell ads to prospective clients, but won't provide actual distribution figures after the printing is done because the monopoly freebies are so poorly distributed. I suspect that many trees worth of the papers are thrown out each week.

I have direct experience of this phenomenon from the last municipal election. At that time we bought a distribution deal to insert my 16 page election booklet inside the Victoria News. The deal indicated that the insert would be placed in two editions, to be distributed in certain specified residential routes, but not in apartment buildings or in public drop boxes.

Despite complaints to management after not receiving the paper at our own home, and then discovering that many other households in the contracted routes had not received the paper on the agreed-upon dates, we were never told how many routes were actually covered, nor were we informed of the total number of papers distributed, although this info was requested by us.

After we threatened legal action, we received a cheque back from Black Press for about $1,200 dollars, the amount of the distribution deal. We had paid with a separate cheuqe for the printing, supposedly, of 30,000 copies, but even that amount was questionable, as no certified audit figures were ever forthcoming, although they were requested. We understood that to be a tacit admission on their part that their distribution system, such as is is, is effectively bogus.

Needless to say, we resolved never to advertise with Black Press again, not being confident that they were much good at doing more than hoodwinking naive advertisers like ourselves.

It's not likely that the fired employees will get hired at Monday, as that deplorable rag is published by the same shysters.

If Russ Francis is quiet on this, it will certainly lessen my respect for him. I hope he finds the courage to address this somehow in his column.
+++

#13 Holden West

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 07:07 PM

It has nothing to do with the courage of Russ Francis. He would undoubtedly love to sink his teeth into this story but the publisher would never permit him to report on his boss.

The Times Colonist didn't report on the Vivian Smith/Butchart Gardens controversy.
I don't think Monday Magazine reported on its 2004 firing of Russ Francis in a cost saving move either.

That's the way it goes in the media. You don't foul your own nest.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#14 aastra

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 03:31 PM

The media don't normally do much coverage of media scandals, even between outlets of different ownership.

For example, we've seen journalists use hidden cameras to expose improper/illegal practices in just about every profession on the face of the earth...except journalism.

#15 Holden West

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 12:46 PM

Political reporter [url=http://web.bcnewsgroup.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=117&cat=23&id=1058459&more=0:fdd12]Russ Francis is gone[/url:fdd12] from Monday Magazine. No word on if he quit or was fired.

I can't help but wonder if it was related in someway to "Wheatongate".
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#16 Mike K.

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 04:06 PM

Speaking of black press, I haven't received a copy of Vic News in well over a year. A kid would drop off two papers at our home and then one day the papers stopped coming. I still see the kid pushing his little cart along some streets in our hood but he doesn't come around to our nook.

Ah well, all the local news I need is covered here anyways.

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#17 Holden West

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 10:33 AM

Seattle profile on David Black:

Black is a feared competitor. He'll cut ad rates to grab business. He often reduces staff or lowers pay. No doubt, his critics would call him a bottom feeder, an enemy of quality journalism. And yet, as a personality, he is widely described as softspoken and pleasant. Nothing about his manner suggests the guts and drive that built so much, so fast, in an industry where many now feel something close to despair. When he speaks, it's plain vanilla. What's his secret? "We look at opportunities we can afford. When prices come down, that makes it a little bit easier."


"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#18 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 11:31 AM

^ "...in every home"...
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#19 Phil McAvity

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 04:04 PM

Quote from Holden West:

"Black is a feared competitor. He'll cut ad rates to grab business. He often reduces staff or lowers pay. No doubt, his critics would call him a bottom feeder, an enemy of quality journalism. And yet, as a personality, he is widely described as softspoken and pleasant. Nothing about his manner suggests the guts and drive that built so much, so fast, in an industry where many now feel something close to despair. When he speaks, it's plain vanilla. What's his secret? "We look at opportunities we can afford. When prices come down, that makes it a little bit easier."


I don't get how that makes him a "bottom feeder" or an "enemy of quality journalism". Any business that isn't looking for ways to cut costs is a business that probably won't last for very long.

#20 spanky123

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 07:26 PM

I used to respect David Black but after Wheatongate I came to regard his publications as mere advertorials. I guess someone has to pay for the "free" newspapers, it is just too bad that his publications are so obvious about it.

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