We interrupt this programming to ask you for money

Today, Dec. 1, is La grande guignolée des médias, the day during the year when various Quebec media and other groups unite for the cause of raising money and supplies for various charities.

What I like most about this campaign is that it’s entirely independent of the guerre des médias. Its list of participating media includes Quebecor (including the Journal de Montréal, 24H, Canoe, TVA and VOX), Radio-Canada, La Presse, Cogeco (including CKOI, Rythme FM, 98.5, CKAC and The Beat), Astral (including CHOM, Virgin Radio, CJAD, Rouge, NRJ, Canal D, Canal Vie, MusiquePlus, MusiMax, Télétoon, Vrak.tv and Ztélé), V, Télé-Québec, Transcontinental (including Métro), TV5, MétéoMédia, RDS, Groupe Serdy (Zeste and Évasion) and CHOQ.FM (UQAM’s student radio station).

It would probably be easier to list the media not part of this list: Le Devoir, Voir, some community radio stations and a larger number of anglophone media (including The Gazette), many of which have their own holiday fundraising campaigns.

Volunteers will be collecting money at metro stations during the rush hours, and donations can be dropped off at Loblaws/Maxi/Provigo stores or Laurentian Bank locations.

Here’s to hoping they have a day worth reporting on.

UPDATE (Dec. 3): It looks like they raised at least $150,000 in Montreal alone.

La Presse’s Patrick Lagacé, in response to a piece by Le Devoir’s Stéphane Baillargeon asking if it’s the job of journalists to be panhandlers for charity, says there’s plenty of other things journalists waste their time on. He has more on his blog. Baillargeon’s piece is, sadly, subscriber-locked.

La Presse auctions off its journalists

As part of the Grande guignolée, La Presse is once again auctioning off activities with its columnists. These lots aren’t cheap – three or four figures, depending – but they’re for a good cause. Bidding ends at 4pm.

Just please make sure Lagacé doesn’t win.


Another event happening this week is the big annual fundraiser for the Foundation of Stars, formerly known as the Foundation for Research into Children’s Diseases. Last year, you’ll recall, the foundation decided to do away with the telethon they had done for decades, replacing it with a “webothon” that was streamed online. I panned the idea because going online would rob them of the big thing being on television gave them: visibility.

As it turns out, the foundation seems to have realized that, and they’ve abandoned the webothon idea. Without the financial means to put on another telethon, they’ve switched medium and gone to radio, organizing a “phoneothon” on CJAD, Rouge FM and Boom FM stations. It happens Sunday, Dec. 4, from 10 am to 7pm.

As the organization’s latest annual report shows (PDF), the switch from television to the Web resulted in a drop of about $500,000 in fundraising. And because fundraising costs stayed about the same, that drop came out of the bottom line. The result is that there was $700,000 less given to hospital research centres in the 2010-11 fiscal year than the year before.

Let’s hope that using radio instead of television can provide a happy medium between visibility and cost control that results in maximum benefit for the foundation and, of course, the children it’s trying to help.

One thought on “We interrupt this programming to ask you for money

  1. Zeke


    They didn’t raise half a million dollars and their costs stayed the same?!?!? I hope that the person who was their director of fundraising got fired and fired fast. That’s completely, utterly and totally irresponsible.


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