Tag Archives: Quebec City

Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph archives on Google

As part of a big announcement this week that Google would be offering to digitize newspapers’ archives (with their permission) and put them online for free, the Quebec Chonicle-Telegraph, North America’s oldest newspaper and the only anglo paper in Quebec City, has jumped on board and some of its archives are already available on Google’s site, mainly from the 50s and 60s. (The QCT even got some link love on the Google Blog.)

(via Le Devoir)

MédiaMatinQuébec is dead

MédiaMatinQuébec's final issue: August 8, 2008

MédiaMatinQuébec's final issue: August 8, 2008

After more than 15 months, 317 editions and 12.5 million copies, MédiaMatinQuébec, the paper put out by striking and locked-out workers from the Journal de Québec, published its final issue this morning (PDF). Next week, the 252 workers return to the Journal de Québec and start re-learning how to do their jobs (which now will include increased use of multi-media for journalists), thanks to the deal that was approved last month.

In other words, it’s ok to like the Journal de Québec again (though it remains to be seen what it will take in from all that the employees have learned from putting out a paper over 15 months).

The MMQ’s final issue, at a staggering 80 pages, is filled with congratulatory ads from local businesses and unions, as well as retrospectives on the paper and the union’s long fight. In fact, other than the crossword and horoscope, that’s all that’s in those 80 pages. Stories about the 15 months of the paper’s existence, a collage of the best photos used in the paper, and mostly first-person retrospectives from dozens of employees who struggled through 15 months working in a cramped office, getting up early and standing in traffic handing out newspapers for pennies of strike pay. (Michel Hébert has a more poetic obit on his blog as well as a copy of his final column.) It’s also interspersed with comments from readers who say they’ll miss the free paper with no filler material, no wire services and 100% local news compiled by dedicated professionals.

You’ve never seen so many people happy to see their paper cease to exist. But then, that was its goal all along. The deal reached with the Journal wasn’t what either side wanted, but it was fair. And now everyone can return to work and start receiving a proper paycheque again.

More importantly, MédiaMatinQuébec may have changed the face of media union pressure tactics forever. Taking what happened during the CBC lockout to the next step, they put away their baseball bats and picket signs and protested by doing their jobs. And the public loved them for it.

MédiaMatinQuébec is dead. Long live MédiaMatinQuébec.

Indefinite lockout

There seems to be no end in sight for the Journal de Québec labour conflict which began in April 2007. As much as local unions are standing behind the workers and their MédiaMatinQuébec newspaper, those funds aren’t infinite. At some point, MMQ or the Journal are going to fold for good. Maybe both.

Meanwhile, Canadian Press has an overview of the difficulties getting Quebec Sun Media employees (basically now the Journal de Montréal) to “adapt” to the Internet. It casts the issue as if it’s the union being resistant to change, which I imagine is not how they see it.

Paris-Match screws up on Quebec

June 27, 2008

Speaking of Page One screw-ups about Quebec’s 400th anniversary, the local media is going nuts (and the local blogosphere doing the same) over the magazine Paris-Match‘s new issue about Quebec. It looks fantastic except for one minor error:

They thought it was the province’s anniversary, not the city’s. So the section focuses on the province, and mainly on Montreal.

Oops. I guess they don’t understand that subtle “à” vs “au” distinction. (Do they not have that in France?)

Here’s my question though: Why didn’t reporters pick up on this when they did all those laudatory stories about Paris Match’s upcoming issue earlier in the week? You don’t think they just rewrote a press release without thinking about it, do you? (At least Pierre Cayouette was scratching his head at the possibility they got this wrong before it came out)

UPDATE: This gem of a quote from The Gazette:

“We didn’t know there was a competition between Quebec City and Montreal and to be honest, it doesn’t really matter to us and to our readers. But we now see that it is sensitive issue here,” (editor-in-chief) Martin-Chauffier said.

I think someone needs to explain to this person that this isn’t a cultural difference, it’s a factual error.

UPDATE (June 30): The editor continues to not apologize for the factual error and hence imply that we misunderstood them and they know better than us what this is all about (Patrick Lagacé calls BS and isn’t letting him off the hook). I’m starting to understand why everyone hates the French.

Meanwhile, competing French media have taken notice of the mistake: Liberation has a piece from AFP on the matter (via mtlweblog) and 20minutes and Le Post also giggle at Paris-Match’s misfortune.

UPDATE (July 1): Regret the Error summarizes the situation with links to prestigious local bloggers.

UPDATE (May 28, 2015): Paris-Match screwed up again, saying Pierre Karl Péladeau wants to make Quebec City a country in a headline.

Where’s the line between union and journalist?

Last week, MédiaMatinQuébec, the Journal de Québec locked-out/striking workers paper that I’ve discussed here many times before, decided it would refuse ads from Quebec City’s administration, which is involved in its own labour issues. The city paid for ads in MMQ that explained its points in its negotiation with its union. But because that union supports MMQ, the paper decided it could no longer take advertisements that served to attack its allies.

Was a line crossed here? It’s one thing when MMQ refuses to take ads from Le Soleil, which has a vested interest in making the Journal conflict go on for as long as possible. But Quebec City has nothing to do with Quebecor.

Then again, the entire raison d’être of MMQ is as a union pressure tactic. Should we expect a union-produced newspaper to betray those who support it?

I guess it comes down to a simple question: Is MédiaMatinQuébec a newspaper, with a duty to be objective, or is it a union pressure tactic, whose content should further its ultimate goal?

One year and counting

A bit of union propaganda from the locked-out and on-strike workers at the Journal de Québec, who have been out of work for a year, and are still producing a daily newspaper off raised money while their old one deteriorates. Today, they’re encouraging people to boycott the Journal de Québec to protest the continued lockout.

UPDATE: Today’s special issue (PDF) is 56 pages, and filled with ads. Meanwhile, Steve Proulx argues that while he isn’t taking a position either way, it’s worth noting that the Journal’s current contract gives some rather extreme benefits to workers: high salaries, four-day weeks, paid days off on their birthdays, etc.

Time to water the snow?

Stupidest thing I’ve heard today: People in Quebec City are watering the snow on their lawns to get them to melt faster.

Aside from the insane waste of a precious resource, the potential damage caused to a lawn that’s overwatered, the inefficacy of melting snow with water, and the much more sane alternatives available (like, say, shoveling it or just waiting a week for it to melt on its own), isn’t it a really bad idea to intentionally flood the area around your home during flood season?

Journal de Québec: 9 months and counting

Locked-out and striking workers at the Journal de Québec have asked for an arbitrator to finally help put an end to the conflict that’s been going on since April.

The seemingly unsustainable situation, where the paper has been relying on quasi-legal Canoë, Journal de Montréal, wire service and management workers to put out the paper while the unionized workers have been publishing a competing free paper five days a week, has gone on so long that union members are being offered subscriptions to the Journal, and MédiaMatin has started a classified section:

MédiaMatinQuébec classified section

The Journal is clearly not ready to back down, and as long as the union gets support from its solidarity-bretheren (the latest is the Réseau de transport de Longueuil) as well as overwhelming moral support from the public, they’re not about to fold up shop either.

Info 800 to be stripped of its info

CHRC Info 800, the Quebec City version of Info 690/940 News, is going to be eliminating its news-gathering operation by firing all its journalists, a move which journalists aren’t too pleased about.

Ironically, Info 800 is being sold to local interests (including Patrick Roy) by Corus Entertainment for $282,177.40, becoming one of the few locally-owned media outlets there. It’s the new owners who want to make the cuts, despite reassuring the CRTC that the takeover wouldn’t reduce local programming (they even referenced the “montrealization of the airwaves” in their submission as an argument in favour of the purchase), and that they didn’t expect any journalists to be affected:

Exceprt from CRTC-2007-1374-4

The idea is to turn Quebec City’s only remaining AM station into a news/sports talk station, with emphasis on sports. Its schedule will be all-sports in the afternoons and evenings, and the station would cover local sports events such as Rouge et Or university football games and Roy’s Quebec Remparts junior hockey team.

CHRC proposed schedule

The request for transfer of ownership of the station will be heard by the CRTC on Feb. 26 in Vancouver. Submissions are due by Jan. 23.

Labeaume wins Quebec City mayor’s race

Despite her YouTube prowess, Ann Bourget lost the Quebec City mayor’s race today to a 60% landslide by “local businessman” Régis Labeaume, who apparently doesn’t have a website.

UPDATE: Apparently he does have a website, but it’s completely hidden from Google, which is odd because it’s very well designed, with YouTube videos of his own, and regular campaign communiqués (sadly in PDF format, as if people are going to print them out and post them) about issues, like this one vowing to use his political influence to keep Quebec media local in the wake of recent job cuts and the ongoing labour dispute at the Journal de Québec.

We’ll see how well he does on that promise.

Awarding excellence in Quebec journalism (with links!)

As part of a weekend conference, the Fédération professionelle des journalistes du Québec presented awards for journalism. Radio-Canada was the big winner for the Judith Jasmin awards for reporting, and La Presse the big winner in the photo category.

The coverage in the media was as you might expect, each media outlet trumping its own successes and downplaying others:

What was particularly annoying about the announcement of the winners is that neither the FPJQ announcements nor any of the news reports about them contained links to the winners’ articles, video reports or photos. This is 2007, for crying out loud. It should be beyond obvious by now that online reports are incomplete without us being able to see what they’re talking about.

So as a public service, here are the winners of the FPJQ’s awards this weekend, with links to the original pieces where appropriate.

Prix Judith Jasmin (reporting)

Grand prize: La leçon de discrimination
Pasquale Turbide & Lucie Payeur
Radio-Canada (Enjeux)

The winner, a TV documentary tackling the hot issue of discrimination, is already available on DVD.

Investigative journalism: Du sable dans l’engrenage
Guy Gendron, Jean-Luc Paquette and Monique Dumont
Radio-Canada (Zone Libre)

An in-depth look at the Alberta oilsands which are booming like nobody’s business now that the high price of oil has made them profitable. It also explores the environmental and (hence) political angles of this industry.

Feature: Inde, poubelle de la planète techno
Noémi Mercier
Québec Science

Mercier’s report on how so-called “recycling” of electronics overseas is really just a long-range garbage dump apparently involved a lot of personal risk on her part.

Opinion: Femmes en retrait
Manon Cornellier
Le Devoir

Cornellier’s piece was recognized not for its original subject (the lack of women in power in politics), but for the clear, well-written way it was presented.

Profile/interview: Monique Lépine, 17 ans de silence
Harold Gagné

Gagné’s interview with the mother of École Polytechnique killer Marc Lépine was one of those epic scoops, even if it wasn’t timely. The interview itself became news all over the country as other outlets reported on it (The Globe, CTV, CBC, La Presse). The timing was unfortunately perfect, coming just days after the Dawson shooting.

The fact that a runner-up in this category was Sue Montgomery’s portrait of Dawson shooter Kimveer Gill (breaking the silence of his mother) says something, either about their selection criteria or about the state of the media.

National news: Hérouxville dicte un code de conduite rigoureux pour ses futurs immigrants
Katia Gagnon
La Presse

The article that started it all. A reporter talks about a small town called Hérouxville which has some odd ideas about race relations (they polled residents asking “are you racist?”, the answer was 100% “no”). The rest is history.

Local news: L’érosion des berges (video)
Hervé Gaudreault
Radio-Canada Baie Comeau

Honoured for one simple reason: He made the issue of soil erosion sound interesting. I’ll add that it proves that real journalism can in fact come from small markets.

Prix Antoine Desillets (photography)

Daily life: Bernard Brault
La Presse

A this-must-be-photoshopped silhouette of a vacationer in the Antilles. Brault was a finalist last year for another photo from the Antilles.

Sports: David Boily
La Presse

This spectacular photo of F1 driver Robert Kubica having his vehicle totalled (I think, there were a few photos that got picked up) made the AFP and Canadian Press wires and got published around the world.

Photojournalism: Olivier Hanigan
La Voie du succès

The words “acid attack” don’t evoke much emotion until you see the photos of these victims in a Bangladesh hospital.

News: Ivanoh Demers
La Presse

(I’m assuming it’s this photo – it’s part of a gallery with the rest.) A photo of mafia boss Nick Rizzutto being arrested, honoured for its excellent composition of elements denoting the once great man’s being taken down by the law.

Portrait: Bernard Brault
La Presse

Bernard Brault wins again, for a photo of a security guard at the University of Oxford. Chosen for the way it captures the essence of British style.

The winning photos will be on display in Montreal starting Dec. 4.

Prix Judith-Jasmin hommage (lifetime achievement)

This career award went to former Journal de Montréal justice reporter Rodolphe Morissette, who retired last year after 22 years of service.

Bourse Arthur-Prévost (aspiring rookie journalist)

This $2,000 financial award went to Marie-Hélène Proulx, who’s currently at Jobboom Magazine but has had her name just about everywhere since starting a freelance journalism career in 2003. Her magazine articles have already won grownup awards.

Prix Jules-Fournier (quality of language in print writing)

This $5,000 prize for quality of writing in a French-language Quebec newspaper went to Valérie Borde, an independent journalist who works for l’Actualité and writes about science.

Prix Raymond-Charette (quality of language in electronic media)

This $5,000 prize went to Hugues Poulin, Radio-Canada’s European correspondent.

These last two awards are sponsored by the Conseil supérieur de la langue française.