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Kamloops daily gets new editor; Nanaimo gets two

September 14, 2012 1 comment

I’ve probably missed a lot of these types of announcements in recent months, but I’ll at least take a swing at acknowledging a few recent comings and goings, including two biggies.

First, today is Mel Rothenburger‘s last day as editor of the Kamloops Daily News. He’s retiring and associate editor Robert Koopmans will take the reigns after a long apprenticeship in the newsroom (and six Webster nominations). I’ll try to link to Mel’s goodbye column when it’s posted.

Meanwhile, on Vancouver Island, Cale Cowan is no longer the editor of the Nanaimo Daily News. He’s heading down the road to be the news editor at the Victoria Times-Colonist. (Dave Obee is the new head honcho there). Meanwhile, NDN deputy editor Philip Wolf has been named interim editor. Details on how to get Cale’s old job here. Also, here’s Cale’s goodbye column, in which he recounts a letter from a reader “who, on one short hand-scrawled note, questioned my intelligence, commented disparagingly on my physique and likened my character to a very specific part of the human anatomy.”

The other paper in town, the Nanaimo News Bulletin, already has a new editor, with the promotion in August of former arts editor Melissa Fryer. Read her first column as editor here. Here’s the goodbye column by outgoing editor Mitch Wright, who has taken a communications gig with the University of Victoria.

Parksville Qualicum Beach News editor Steve Heywood will become the Peninsula News Review third editor in less than a year. He takes over for Erin Cardone, who is moving overseas.

And the Fernie Free Press‘s newest reporter Nicole Liebermann introduces herself to readers.

If you need a job, today’s the last day to apply to be the Nanaimo News Bulletin‘s newest reporter or the Goldstream News Gazette‘s new editor.

Finally, North Shore News sales and marketing director Dee Dhaliwal has been named the new publisher of the Vancouver Courier. Reading the story announcing her appointment was the first time, really, that I noticed just how few non-white publishers, editors and reporters there are at community papers in B.C. I’m not sure why that is, but it’s a little disturbing, now that I’m aware of it.

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Trio of B.C. reporters up for CAJ award; job openings

April 26, 2012 Comments off

Items of note, including three jobs not posted on Gaulin:

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Kamloops This Week reporter Tim Petruk, Vancouver Courier reporter Cheryl Rossi, and XTra! correspondent David P. Ball have all been named finalists in the Canadian Association of Journalists awards for community journalism. A pair of reporters in Ontario are also up for the award. Tim is nominated for his 28 Seconds series about the police shooting of a Kamloops man. Cheryl is up her her profile of an outdoor non-profit that works with high school students facing problems in class. And David was nominated for his article on the uneasy relationship between the police and the gay community.

The awards will be handed out at a gala April 28 in Toronto.

Also, the Courier‘s Barry Link, along with Nanaimo Daily News editor Cale Cowan, each won Jack Webster Foundation fellowships to attend a week-long seminar at the Poynter Institute.

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Speaking of Cale, he wrote a sweet little vignette about why the job of a newspaper reporter isn’t the fifth-worst job on the face of the planet.

Newspapering has meant that the past 23 years have been filled with days that are never the same; interesting people coming in and out of my life; the chance to travel; to live in four different provinces; and to write for a living.

Who gets to do that?

more…

If you were one of the few reporters to come across the survey, read and scoff about it here. (Our profession’s poor rating has more to do with job prospects than the actual job.)

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Staying in Nanaimo for a second, here’s a News Bulletin story on Merv Unger, who won the Eric Dunning Integrity Award at the Ma Murray Awards. Merv was the News Bulletin‘s first editor and also served as a city councillor.

“I’ve seen changes from very strict rules in journalism where news reporting and commentary were separated stringently. If you were a reporter, you had no opinion,” he said. “That has evolved all the way to today where I think one of the biggest dangers is advocacy journalism, where people take on causes and do not present an unbiased picture.”

more…

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The Vanderhoof Omineca Express is looking for a new editor. Former editor Hannah Wright, who did a fantastic job on the Cody Alan Legebokoff case, returned to the UK over the winter due to visa issues. She hopes to return, according to a January Twitter post.

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The Oceanside Star is looking for a reporter. Two-person newsroom. Small town (Parksville). Pretty nice location.

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And this is a pretty premiere gig, as far as mid-sized community papers go: the many-award-winning Whistler Question needs a new editor. Pretty decent gig. Also, this is a pretty spectacular headline: Nipples aren’t for chewing.

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Kristian Rasmussen is the Columbia Valley Pioneer’s newest reporter. Read his introductory column here. P.S. What’s the consensus on the website’s background, particularly behind the text?

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Finally, the 2012 Canadian Community Newspaper Awards will be announced today at a gala in T.O. Winners will be posted online afterwards. See the full list of finalists here. And if anyone is in Toronto and can send me anything of note, please do so by emailing bclocalreporter@gmail.com.

Thanks.

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Finally, stay tuned for a major-ish announcement about this blog. Post should be up around 11 a.m.

 

Prince George Citizen needs new managing editor, is Glacier’s “premier daily in B.C.”

March 5, 2012 6 comments

So the Prince George Citizen is looking for a new managing editor. See the job posting on Gaulin here.

Of note (and purely in the interest of stirring the pot), Citizen publisher Colleen Sparrow talks smack in the posting, calling her paper “Glacier Media’s premier daily in B.C.” Glacier, of course, has a few other papers with publishers who might dispute that bravado, not the least of which are the Nanaimo Daily News, Kamloops Daily News, and, most notably, the Victoria Times-Colonist.

Add to the fact that the Citizen ran a four-page wrap last election for a mayoral candidate and one wonders if Sparrow has a wing to flap. Or maybe it is the best. Leave a comment (That means you, Tim and Cale).

Journo-jobs returns (Dec. 12)

December 12, 2011 Comments off

Blog has been slow because I’ve been busy and haven’t had a lot to write about. That said, here are some jobs that are currently open:

The Sooke News Mirror needs a full-time reporter: “Our broad reach extends from East Sooke to Port Renfrew and everywhere in between. We are seeking a full-time reporter who would be responsible for sports coverage and community news. This position offers a solid grounding in community news and is a natural for anyone seeking a wide variety of experiences.” Submit by Dec. 21.

The Vanderhoof Omineca Express needs a reporter/editor to step into the intrepid shoes of Hannah Wright: “The successful candidate will be required to work independently in a one-person newsroom, however will also be part of a larger regional news team.” Submit by Jan. 3.

And if you really need some, any work, the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial needs a part-time, temporary reporter: “The position opens in January and offers a flexible schedule. It requires about 15 hours a week, with the possibility of additional hours as situations demand.” Submit clips and resume by Dec. 16

The Merritt Herald needs a reporter: “The successful applicant will work with the editor, with both responsible for all aspects of getting the newspaper to press — writing, editing, taking photographs and laying out pages using InDesign.” Closes Dec. 30.

Also, for what it’s worth, the Vancouver Sun needs a temporary copy editor and a permanent web copy editor. That reminds me: I read somewhere that copy editors have the lowest level of job satisfaction among journalists. Just sayin’.

A publisher who writes news…

March 29, 2011 Comments off

Are you an overworked reporter who looks at your publisher and asks, “What exactly do you do again?” Well, next time you’re stressed because you have to write five stories on deadline day, maybe ask your publisher to pen a feature or, even better, write a feature series. Coast Reporter associate publisher Cathie Roy is three stories deep in a series on local folks making their mark in the world.

It’s by no means the first time Cathie has written for the paper. She’s written features, covered committee-of-the-whole meetings (!!!) and penned frequent editorials for the paper. To my knowledge at least, her role seems to be unique in British Columbia. True, there are those who carry the title of publisher/editor/reporter. But I haven’t come across a publisher who isn’t the editor but who frequently contributes features and news stories anyways.

I was going to question the relationship between the business aspects of a publisher’s duties and the writing aspect of a contributor’s. But then, I would like to see more editors graduate to the publisher’s chair. And I don’t have too much of a problem of someone holding an editor/publisher role. So editor/contributor should be fine…

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Elsewhere…

The Ladysmith Chronicle is hiring a reporter. Deadline is April 4.

Categories: Comings and goings, Jobs

Are good clips better than great clips?

March 25, 2011 3 comments

I’m still not sure why it happened, but I woke up the other day with the following thought.

When it comes to hiring a new reporter, every editor has the same routine: post ad; ask prospective reporters to send in a cover letter, resume and clips; evaluate.

If I was an editor (and thank God I’m not), I’d consider a slight tweak. Instead of asking for “several recent writing samples,” I’d ask for the reporter’s single favourite piece, along with three more non-series pieces from a week over the past year. In a community newspaper environment, I think it’s much more valuable to have someone who can produce several examples of top-notch work from a single week than someone who can find three exceptional pieces from the past couple years.

Alternately, if I was applying for a job right now (and praise Allah that I’m not), I’d consider eschewing the old three-best-clips strategy in favour of three good clips from a single week.

Good idea? Bad idea? Leave a comment.

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This blog had more visitors in February than any previous months. It’s still a one-person show, though, so any help would be great. It’s easy, quick and the pay is shite. E-mail bclocalreporter (at) gmail (dot) com.

Have I made an error? It wouldn’t be the first time. Leave a comment and I’ll shamefully update the post.

We’re making inroads into our census of B.C. community newspapers, but there are still a lot of blanks in the Journo-lust Spreadsheet. How many journalists work at your paper? How often do you come out? Who’s your publisher? Participation is free! The benefits unlimited! The exclamation points boundless!

Categories: Jobs Tags:

Kamloops Daily News closes press, mailroom

February 25, 2011 Comments off

The Kamloops Daily News is closing its press and mailroom over the next two months, according to a statement earlier this week by KDN publisher Tim Shoults.

Before I briefly weigh in, here’s the full statement:

Today is a sad day at the Kamloops Daily News.

Representatives of Glacier Media, the parent company of the Kamloops Daily News, served the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union Local 2000 notice under section 54 of the B.C. Labour Code that The Daily News will cease operations of both the press and mailroom within the next 60 days on Monday (Feb. 21).

Glacier has entered into a contractual obligation with Black Press to print and collate our publications in their plant in Vernon for the Daily News and the Kamloops Review.

These moves will utilize unused capacity at these plants and will allow significant savings for The Daily News operations.

It will also allow The Daily News to continue to focus on our core competencies of news generation, advertising sales, composition and publishing both print publications and online products.

The decision affects seven full-time staff and 24 part-time staff in the press and mailroom operations of the Daily News, representing a total of 19.3 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions.

The potential last day of operation of the pressroom and mailroom based on this notice is Friday, April 21, 2011.

Glacier Media remains committed to the newspaper business and the communities it serves and expects to maintain the strength of its publishing operations through focus and resource allocation to the core business disciplines.

It is with sorrow and sincere concern for our staff that we have reached these difficult decisions. We recognize the challenges that these decisions will provide to the individuals directly affected and their families, and extend our sincere thanks to them for their years of service.

It should be clear that we do not take these decisions lightly. We have worked hard to create a strong business in the interest of our employees, our readers, our clients and our shareholders.

While not as leveraged as some media companies, Glacier has debt and has few options but to reduce costs as a result of the loss of advertising revenue we have incurred during the recent economic downturn.

We do not anticipate that further significant adjustments of this type will be required but this is dependent on the length and severity of the current economic climate and its implications on our advertising revenues.

There is no joy in these decisions but a more secure future is promised through these actions for all of us.

–Tim Shoults, Publisher

Running a press these days clearly costs a newspaper money and, if you can have your paper printed elsewhere for less money, that seems to make financial sense—although it’s clearly not good for all those people employed in presses. In fact, it seems like something that was probably inevitable, at some point. I imagine it will affect deadlines at a daily paper, given that Vernon is 90 minutes away when the roads are good.

Given that it wasn’t too long ago that Glacier was talking about investing, the talk about cutting is worrying, as is the stuff about the current economic climate.

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