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Posts Tagged ‘SwarmJam’

Hide the children, Swarmjam returns

February 17, 2011 Comments off

The fucking bee returns

You know something awful?

Apparently all Postmedia employees, including editorial staff, at some of their Lower Mainland community paper are being told that they have to add a Swarmjam logo to their e-mail signatures.

Maybe Postmedia’s new slogan is “We Are All Whores Now.”

Give me a fucking break.

Sure, Swarmjam might be a great way to make up money lost as papers’ classifieds sections whither and die. But SwarmJam is going to succeed or fail if it offers good deals for readers, not by having Postmedia whore out all its reporters, or by pimping shameless Swarmjam advertorial in the news pagers.

And you know what else? Maybe the folks behind Swarmjam need to iron out a few kinks so that people who search for the following terms stop coming to my site.

Here’s a partial list of those searches:

swarmjam review
swarmjam screwed
swarmjam is a joke
swarmjam bad experience
how much did postmedia spend on swarmjam
swarmjam bad
swarmjam dependable
swarmjam problems
swarmjam lame
writing for swarmjam (!?!)
better than swarmjam

That might be a good place to start.

Photo by Joshua Ganderson via Flickr.
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Categories: Industry stuff Tags: ,

Cher, Pamela Anderson and PR lackeys

December 15, 2010 Comments off

Can someone find me a photo of a broken version of this mug?

Kevin Rothbauer of the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports that “The Kerry Park Islanders and the rest of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League won’t have the Westshore Stingers to push around any longer.” Nice bit of sports reporting on a “hapless” franchise.

The Gulf Islands Driftwood’s Elizabeth Nolan reports on the rescue of a woman known to locals as “Cher” from a boat. The woman, who was likely having a stroke, is apparently musical and sings and plays the guitar. I’ll leave it at that, except to say the story is good.

Some funny/sad court reporting from Campbell River Mirror reporter Paul Rudan, who writes about a father-son drug dealing operation.

Franklin Lee was held in custody over the weekend and appeared in provincial court on Monday when he pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance. He had pleaded guilty to the same charge in October and was fined $250.

Corbett was about to elaborate on Lee’s past criminal record when Judge Peter Doherty quickly cut in, “Oh, I’m familiar with Mr. Lee.”

The judge agreed to the proposed sentence of time served and six months probation, and was certain that Lee could not abide by a no-drug order.

The judge, who normally sits in Courtenay provincial court, asked why Lee had moved to Campbell River when his intention was to get away from criminal activity.

Lee shrugged and said he’s “away from the violence” which the judge thought, “was a good start.”

more…

Coast Reporter editor Ian Jacques, last seen ranting about the RCMP new French press release policy, has a new bunch of PR lackies in his sights. He’s mad that the Vancouver Coastal Health authority didn’t invite the media to a meeting at which they released plans for a new mental health facility. Jacques calls their approach to public relations “draconian.” VCH said they wanted to spare the public to feel that they could “express feel that they could express themselves freely and not be inhibited in any way with the media present or with a large public group present,” which is very clearly absolute bullshit.

As every facet of this new facility relates to the public interest and no part of this was done without public funds, there is no reason for this meeting to have been held behind closed doors. It begs the question: what is VCH hiding? We will never know because we weren’t allowed to be there.

This situation lacks the basic openness or accountability that is demanded by people in a free society, and interfering with transparency will, in the end, help no one.

more…

In my experience with health authority PR folk, you could also probably label their PR approach “dragonian.” (Does that joke make sense?)

The Ladysmith Chronicle has a video of Pamela Anderson on their website. Yes, that Pamela Anderson. As with Cher, that is all I have to say.

Remember that Nanaimo Daily Bulletin series on healthy living and pre-New Year’s Resolutions? Here’s Krista Bryce‘s part four.

I missed this the first time, but this story in the North Island Gazette by Teresa Bird on a man who won’t have to face sexual assault charges because he was denied a speedy trial deserves to be read. Shockingly, no one else seems to have picked up this story. This exposes definite problems with the lack of court resourcs up in Port Hardy.

Perhaps somebody needs to give the classified person at the Peninsula News Review an express course in journalism news sense. This, four days after the fact, from today’s web edition:

North Saanich councillor Peter Chandler made a public apology to former Peninsula Recreation Commission member Don Hunter in the Dec. 10 issue of the Peninsula News Review.

Chandler apologized to Hunter in the classified section of the paper, after an out-of-court settlement reached before the case was to go back to court on Dec. 13.

more…

The cops do a standup news conference in front of a grow-op house in Saanich. Why don’t they do these everywhere?

And finally, SwarmJam awkwardly invades the website of the Alberni Valley Times and other Canwest Island papers. Booooooo.

Photo by Jerry Sifwer via Flickr

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

Seen something else I should know about? Want to write a post? Have better photos than the Creative Commons Flickr pool ones I use? E-mail bclocalreporter(at)gmail.com.

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!

Godfrey speaks

December 7, 2010 Comments off

Paul Godfrey

Paul Godfrey will speak to employees, including journalists at Postmedia’s community papers, today. I’ve sent him a letter about the SwarmJam debacle, and am hoping he can give a response. Unfortunately, I won’t be tuning in to the webcast. If somebody can update the blog on what, if anything, is said about the stories and Postmedia’s “Editorial/Advertising Policy,” it would be much appreciated. Leave a comment (the button’s up by the headline) or e-mail me at bclocalreporter@gmail.com

Thanks.

Slugs, soldiers and Santa Claus; Island roundup

December 6, 2010 Comments off

Krista Bryce of the Nanaimo Daily News is halfway through a six-part series on early New Year’s Resolutions (kicker: Don’t wait for Jan. 1 to make your healthy lifestyle choices”). The series relates the personal stories of people trying to get healthy. Part one focuses on a guy who’s quitting smoking and introduces the series with some advice on how to get fit. Part two tells the story of a fellow who lost 282 (!) pounds. And part three focuses on how new gadgets and technology can make workouts more fun and more effective. All the stories feature several sources and great photography, also by Bryce. Stories are published each Saturday.

I found Bryce’s series through the “Editor’s Picks” section of the NDN’s website, which is just under the main stories. All websites should have such a section. Unfortunately, few do.

The Powell River Peak has a story written by a local soldier, Tod Strickland, stationed in Afghanistan. Sometimes the best journalism can mean letting other people do the writing. Also, I’ll say it again: the Peak’s website is freaking amazing (I’m going to dedicate a full post to it later, but while browsing I noticed that I’m not alone in my love for the site; media/IT director (!) Tyson Fandrick won the 2009 and 2010 CCNA for best website.) (One minus: took me too long to find the Peak’s twitter feed).

Ashley Gaudreault of the awkwardly named Cowichan News Leader Pictorial has a great feature on Santa Claus. Or at least a Santa Claus impostor. I like this:  “On a cruise down the Panama Canal, nine people asked to pose with him for a picture so they could say to their grandkids they went cruising with St. Nick.” Now that’s a brave editor who will publish a behind-the-scenes Santa Claus story. Should the story have a disclaimer? Maybe something like: “Warning: adult content. Parental guidance required”?

Edward Hill of the Goldstream Gazette writes about a local school’s annual drive to raise 10,000 pieces of non-perishable food in four hours. Good story, great idea for a fundraiser.

And Erin McCracken, also of the Goldstream Gazette, has another very interesting story, this one on an endangered tiny, blue, beautiful (!) slug.

Well written, simple sports story with a great lead by J.R. Rardon of the North Island Gazette. Good photo too.

Hilarious Peninsula News Review headline: “Smurfette released from rehab.” Nice story by Christine van Reeuwyk.

Pirjo Raits of the Sooke News Mirror talks to a boy credited with saving his family from a fire.

Finally, just as I presciently predicted, SwarmJam is spreading. OK, not the business itself, which will probably sputter and die a deserved death, but the stories about it. Booooooo.

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Have I made an error? It wouldn’t be the first time. Be my editor by leaving a comment (the button’s up top by the headline). I’ll duly update the post.

Seen something else I should know about? Want to write a post? Have better photos than the Creative Commons Flickr pool ones I use? E-mail bclocalreporter(at)gmail.com.

Help complete a census of B.C. community newspapers by filling in the blanks for your newspaper in the Journo-lust Spreadsheet. 

Photo by Kevin Dooley via Flickr
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