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Prince George Free Press adds digital offering

December 4, 2012

The Prince George Free Press, a twice-weekly community paper in B.C.’s northern capital, has embarked on a new experiment: a daily, digital edition.

As reported here, the paper says it has launched a new, non-traditional daily product. Indeed, separate from its own website, which uses Black Press’ standard template (it’s no longer under Black Press ownership, although they do remain affiliated in some ways), this product is delivered right to your e-mail and readers scroll through it like an actual paper.

From the announcement:

“The Free Press Daily is markedly different than a website in a couple of ways,” said Bill Phillips, Free Press managing editor. “We haven’t loaded it up with web enhancements that have nothing to do with delivering the news of the day, and we actually deliver it to you. Rather than having to go a website to get your news, it comes to you … just like the paper version does.”

I also couldn’t help but notice a slight, light-hearted jab to their main competitor, the Prince George Citizen, a subscription-based daily paper. That came from a comment from the Free Press’ sales director:

“Why should you pay to get your daily news?” said Roy Spooner, Free Press sales and marketing director.

It’s definitely a neat idea. I’ll be curious to see if it sparks any other projects like that from other papers in the area.

– Northern Reporter

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  1. Dale Bass
    December 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I’d refer people to this J-Source article on Stephen Ward’s viewpoint about journalism and objectivity. Stephen is also chair of the ethics committee for the Canadian Association of Journalists. http://j-source.ca/article/emotional-commitment-objective-journalism?utm_source=CJF+Programs+Newsletters&utm_campaign=bc20e321fd-2012_12_1212_12_2012&utm_medium=email#. Just to give you an idea, Stephen writes: Often, when I speak to audiences about impartial, objective journalism, my listeners are skeptical about the very idea.

    Some say that everyone has biases, so objectivity is a myth. Others voice another complaint: An impartial journalist is a bloodless eunuch. She pretends to have no feelings on the issue at hand; she is “detached” and “disinterested” – which means she is uncaring. Who wants to be that sort of person, let alone that sort of journalist? Journalistic eunuchs are strange creatures in an age of personal, multimedia journalism.

    This misunderstanding ignores two central facts: First, the ideal of impartial journalism never asked journalists to be that sort of person; second, a belief in objective reporting is grounded in emotions – in an emotional commitment to the best possible journalism.

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