Listen to Le Devoir (or, you know, don’t)

As part of its centennial celebrations, Le Devoir invited Hexagram to record audio from their newsroom. You can listen to a four-minute clip of it on their website.

But as much as I’m fascinated with the minutiae of the inner workings of the media, I’ll recommend giving this one a pass. It’s background noise, and there isn’t much said. No screaming of “on tue la une!” or other newspaper clichés.

Newspaper newsrooms are, in fact, very quiet places. There are reporters on the phone with police or other sources, editors conferring with each other on matters important and trivial, and the usual office gossip during downtimes. But otherwise, it’s quiet as reporters type their stories, and editors read and proofread.

Unless something crazy is happening, or you’re in a meeting, there’s just not anything interesting to listen to.

6 thoughts on “Listen to Le Devoir (or, you know, don’t)

  1. Jay

    Stop the presses!

    Oh wait, keep em rolling because nobody outside of Outremont/Plateau cares about Le Devoir. I’d rather listen to a newsroom of a newspaper people ACTUALLY read.

  2. Dominique

    Wow, that WAS really boring. There are ways to record background noise to make it more interesting, like getting close-up sound of snippets of conversation, phones ringing etc.. instead of just muddled background sound.

  3. Patrick Déry


    That’s a very poor argument. It implies that McDonalds makes the better food , Wal-Mart is the best retailer, that General Motors made the best cars up to two years ago (when Toyota became first…). Well, you get the idea.

    The measure of Le Devoir’s influence is not how many people read it, but who reads it. On that aspect, Le Devoir probably has more influence than any other newspaper in Quebec, save perhaps La Presse.

    That being said, other newsrooms background noise wouldn’t be any less boring.

    1. Patrick Déry


      You’re probably right, but I’m not sure that’s clean cut as this, if you measure the influence of a newspaper by its impact on government decisions.

      Le Devoir had its share of scoops which became hot potatoes for the government (it got out the story on the Jewish Schools). And La Presse is non-existent outside the Montreal area. Also, Le Devoir is where big shots usually write open letters.

      Of course, it’s almost impossible to measure.

      1. Steven

        La Presse is the most often cited news outlet in Canada, per Influence Communications. In Quebec, it counts for 51% of cited news. Le Devoir is not even in the Top 5 cited newspapers in Quebec (behind La Presse, JdM, JdQ, Gazette and Le Soleil). Le Devoir is non-existent in Sports, Economics, Lifestyle and, despite what people say, International. They didn’t send any reporter to Haiti or Vancouver.
        Le Devoir prints 30 000 copies. La Presse 210 000.
        And La Presse, while not distributed outside 450 and 514, reaches far behind Montreal region with Cyberpresse.


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