It’s not like anyone died

Community weeklies have a reputation for preferring fluff over substance. But after this weekend’s St. Patrick’s parade, in which a young man died, a rare intersection of fluff and news gave them a great opportunity to discuss a serious issue.

Haha, just kidding.

This week’s West Island Chronicle has a big cover photo from the downtown parade, whose caption includes this rather insensitive part: “The persistent rain thinned the crowds a little this year, but they couldn’t put a damper on the fun being had by many.”

Inside, more photos, but no mention of there being a fatality.

Similarly, The Suburban has a parade photo on its front page, a story about the parade on Page 2, and a photo gallery. But the death was buried on (depending on your edition) Page 13 or 22.

9 thoughts on “It’s not like anyone died

  1. Singlestar

    the pareade stories were probably written before the parade itself, or in a bar during the parade.
    When does the Chronically Suburban actually cover news, unless it involves denying the rights of Anglos or Palestinians?

  2. Jim P.

    These Publi-Sac weeklies are slaves to the ads they display with no payed circulation, they are all fluff and adverts. No real issues are attempted as it might upset the advertiser. They, at times, purchase stock images to accompany advertising masked as a news story. So much wasted ink and paper in thename of ‘journalism’.

  3. Elsa

    Really awesome that you mentioned this!! And I agree with singlestar, they probably wrote the story before the parade and got a few quotes here and there during the parade to make it an okay story

  4. Heather H

    Mentioning the tragedy would have been important, BUT:

    -The weekly came out several days after the tragedy. Let’s assume we all knew about it.

    -The weekly talked about the parade, and showed pictures of the floats. Something NONE of the major media did, too busy to focus on the tragedy.

    As much as I hate papers who operate without journalists, like this one, it certainly did complement, not merely copy, what the big boys did.

  5. Paul Rousset

    Truly disheartening to observe the depths to which a once-worthwhile publication has sunk.

    I was a regular free-lancer at the Chronicle in the ’80s and ’90s, and we actually covered sports, police and city-hall beats — and filled whole sections of news, sports and entertainment (classifieds, too, but they were left to the bean counters and ad people).

    Incredible as it now seems, the reporters’ Wednesday routine started with a frantic read of the Gazette’s West Island section — usually ending with the satisfaction that we hadn’t been scooped on anything. I wonder: when was the last time THAT happened?

  6. Ron Csillag

    The Suburban is (or looks) better now than in its so-called heyday under the Wollock family, when it was 80 percent ads, and editorial copy was seen as an irritant needed to keep the ads from spilling into each other. There was no copy editing, no editorial oversight to speak of, and reporters (both of us) were free to do pretty much whatever we wanted. That often meant 60-hour work weeks, but as I say, it was largely unsupervised. At least now it looks like a community weekly instead of the thrown-together dog’s breakfast it was in the 1980s. I can’t comment on content now, but paradoxically, there was red meat in it back in the day – even if it was squeezed around the ad from the local butcher.


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