Tag Archives: Canadian-Newspaper-Association

$662.50 for cops to tell you who they tasered

Every year, the Canadian Newspaper Association coordinates a “freedom of information audit” by getting its members to anonymously issue standard freedom-of-information requests to local government agencies and report the results.

Journalists employ FOI requests on a regular basis (and usually slap an “EXCLUSIVE” label on whatever juicy stuff the government agency has helpfully compiled for them). The difference here is that the audit’s test pretend to be from average citizens, who may be less (or more) likely to get information from the government in line with the law.

The fourth annual audit, which was featured in an article in The Gazette on Saturday and the Journal on Sunday, focuses, naturally, on all the ones that caused problems instead of the ones that were answered quickly and painlessly. Among the main highlights is the CBC’s refusal to give information on the salaries of itsĀ  top employees.

The audit ranks individual cities, provinces and federal institutions. The City of Saskatoon and the Province of Saskatchewan had the highest marks, while the lowest, an F, went to Quebec City. Montreal and Quebec were in the middle.

The Gazette describes Montreal’s performance as mediocre, with none of the requests being released in full without fee. Two of them the City said there were no records to offer. One of them was denied in full. The remaining two cases (one for the city and the other Montreal Police) requested fees for the information. The police wanted $662.50 to compile reports of incidents involving Tasers.

Newspapers don’t need to advertise in newspapers

The Canadian Newspaper Association is planning a media campaign to remind people who read newspapers that they should be reading newspapers.

Aside from the redundant stupidity of putting ads promoting newspapers in newspapers, is this really necessary? Newspapers aren’t like toilet paper, you don’t go into a grocery store and pick out a newspaper subscription because you recognize the brand. People subscribe or unsubscribe based on the quality over a long period of time.

Instead of spending money to advertise in your own papers, maybe you should spend it hiring journalists to find good stories and editors to collect them and present them without all those glaring typos.

UPDATE (Oct. 9): Transmission Marketing agrees with me that this is preaching to the converted.