The final issue of the NDG Monitor went out today. It includes a column from editor Toula Foscolos on the print shutdown, one from Noah Sidel and another from Bram Eisenthal, plus a message from the publisher. Foscolos says many readers accused Transcontinental of not caring about them, which she counters with the fact that the paper has been running with a deficit for years now.
Frankly, I’m surprised they’re keeping the editorial staff and trying to do this online. Transcontinental’s cookie-cutter community websites are awful, and most of the content you find on them links to or is copied from other community newspaper sites.
Though I don’t want to see any local journalists lose their jobs, I can’t help but think that the online Monitor experiment will eventually fail, and those remaining will either have to move to other papers (the Westmount Examiner and West Island Chronicle are also owned by Transcon) or find another career.
Hour also covers the NDG Monitor shutdown, and CTV News had a story about it on today’s newscast, but its website won’t let me link to a specific video, so you’ll have to find it yourself.
I have a long history with The Monitor and other suburban newspapers. I wrote for The North Shore News and for The Monitor when it was first The Monitor. I did a half page – full sheet – article on Magic Tom Auburn. Mr. Auburn, always the perfect gentleman -gave me access to all his personal files and letters . My article was so good that when I went to The Monitor’s editor – I think his name was Rice – to receive my pay for the article, he told me to ask Tom Auburn to pay me. After some talk about going to small claims court, the editor of The Monitor paid me five dollars to settle the matter.
I was employed as a reporter for The Suburban under the original owner, Sophie Wolloch. Everyone who worked for Sophie Wolloch was “under” her – or else, including her husband, Max who worked for the paper as its photographer.
In the 1970’s, I was a columnist on The Lakeshore News and Chronicle and later, in the early 1980’s, a full-time journalist covering all the area’s news, doing photography and I even had a cartoon about Rene Levesque published. The editor, Jeannette Burley Tremblay took my name off some articles, including a major front-page expose of Mayor Decarie, saying it would appear that I was writng the whole newspaper myself.
Anbd now, here we are in 2009 with no real newspaper for the entire community of NDG. We are cut off. Many people who do not have access to the internet – the elderly, the handicapped, the poor, new Canadians, have no way to know what is happening and thus, they will lose any ability to participate in local politics, a boon for Mayor Michael Applebaum and his friends.
NDG NEEDS A REAL NEWSPAPER. NOW !
Phyllis Mass Carter