Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A Cara de Porto Alegre (Faces of Porto Alegre)

Posted: April 29, 2011 by Maria Acle in Uncategorized

Porto Alegre is the tenth most populous municipality in Brazil, with almost 1.5 million inhabitants. It is the capital city of the southernmost Brazilian state, Rio Grande do Sul. The city’s name literally means ‘Happy Harbour’ in English and it is known for its rich and colorful culture.

Porto Alegre is one of the top cultural, political and economic centers of Brazil. With the city being one of the wealthiest in Latin America, it has a very high quality of life. However, while it is not as bad as many other cities in Latin America, the wealth distribution is very unequal. This is one big problem when it comes to delivering any kind of information. (more…)

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What the Future?

Posted: April 26, 2011 by stephaniekelly10 in Uncategorized

Hi everyone!

I came across this really interesting website and I recommend you take a look at it!  It’s called What the Future [I can’t remember exactly where I found it and apologize if it was given to me by someone in this class!]

It’s a TV series about ideas, innovations and people of the twenty-first century, which host Warren Kimmel describes as “The most exciting time in history.” The website uses several mediums and it is a great place to look for story ideas!

The Narrows Weekly

Posted: April 25, 2011 by Leanne Osmond in Uncategorized

I’m not sure if St. John’s has ever looked as beautiful as it did the first time I saw from the ocean sailing in through the narrows. At the time of evening when the setting sun casts a glow across the entire city, the view is enough to take anyone’s breath away. Every time I get the opportunity to catch a glimpse, I always think of what it must have looked like in 1497 when John Cabot sailed his ship The Matthew through the narrows of St. John’s harbour.

View of old St. John's and the harbour

Like the ‘Ode to Newfoundland’ says, I imagine sun shining on pine-clad hills. I imagine the looks on the faces of the men aboard the ship when they dipped baskets into the sea and pull them up full of fish. Newfoundland was the land of plenty – until it wasn’t. After its discovery, Europeans flocked to the shores of the Avalon Peninsula to start a new life on new land. But, slowly resources began to disappear leaving many Newfoundlanders facing hardship.

Downtown St. John's

The Oldest City in North America is a lot different now than it was then, but St. John’s has still managed to keep a tight hold on her roots. The predominantly English and Irish cultures have remained in-tact and are still visible when you stroll down the old streets in the City of Legends.

The past decade has brought a new vitality to St. John’s. A Large portion of the younger generations that went away for post-secondary studies, have come home to start businesses and projects in the city.  St. John’s also attracts many young people from across the country, and the world, to come study in the province.  Memorial University of Newfoundland is the largest (and cheapest) university in Atlantic Canada and offers degrees in more than 100 programs. (more…)

Greater Moncton Wire

Posted: April 23, 2011 by Danie Pitre in Uncategorized

Moncton is the biggest metro area in New Brunswick, it’s home to over 126,000 residents and is still growing rapidly. Moncton boasts a population of 100,000 on it’s own while Dieppe and Riverview both have around 18,000 residents each. Moncton has a special relationship with its two neighboring communities, Riverview and Dieppe as they have a strong partnership but still a healthy competition with one another.

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Home sweet foggy home!

If Saint John is good for anything, it’s the fog – and I don’t mean that in a bad way. If there is one thing I miss since coming to school in Fredericton it’s the creepy cool mist that hangs over Canada’s first incorporated city (circa 1785).

Saint John is hard to pin down. Primarily settled by loyalists and immigrated Irish, the Port of Saint John has become a tourist destination because of the rich history and Victorian architecture. Last year the city was “designated” a cultural capital of Canada, unfortunately the popularity doesn’t do much for the crippling social and economic divides between Saint John’s neighborhoods. Saint John stinks. And it’s not just the smell of the Irving pulp mill pumping fumes into the salty air.

With a total population of over 122,000 (if you include the outlying areas, like Rothesay and Hampton) there are many reasons why Saint John needs a little help get it’s community groove back.

Although it’s been reported that connecting to a specific location means ultimate demise these days for the independent news source – the PEW research institute, in their ‘State of the News Media‘ came up with some surprising data indicating that the ‘younger demographic’ is getting interested in community news.

It’s no secret that the population of New Brunswick is dwindling and the average citizen is ageing with the architecture; it’s for that very reason that I believe, specifically with Saint John, but across New Brunswick there should be conceded effort to create online-community media projects, in order to share the wealth of awesome New Brunswick culture between our younger communities, instead of just pimping it out to cruise ship passengers.

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Our Base

Posted: April 21, 2011 by Adam Hodnett in Uncategorized

We can thank Moses Asch (wiki) for the music of the 60’s and 70’s.

He started Folkways Records (wiki)(podcast) in the late 40’s, which led to the folk revival. These records taught musicians like Bob Dylan how to play. They had an office in New York where traveling, depression-era surviving musicians could sell their songs.

Moe Asch thought more like an anthropologist than a businessman.

Some libraries bought every record he made. This gave him a base. When they made more money, they made more records—they operated on tight margins. The goal was to documented culture. They made 2,168 records, including one from the Miramichi—home of the oldest folk festival in North America.

Journalism should be thought of in the same way. It documents our time. If we can establish a solid base, then we can take on bigger projects when funding becomes available, and always fall back if a risk doesn’t pay off.

I think we can keep an online paper alive with 3,000$ a month, which we can get from advertisements.

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My Greater Saint John

Posted: April 20, 2011 by Karissa Donkin in Uncategorized

Before I start my final project, I thought I’d share a link talking about ProPublica’s Pulitzer Prize win. It’s the first time in history an outlet has won the coveted award for something that hasn’t appeared on a printed page. I think this should serve as a bit of encouragement. ProPublica is still producing great journalism in our changing world. They’re just doing things differently than what we’re used to – and it’s working. It’s a reason to be optimistic.

On to my final project:

My Greater Saint John

Introduction


Saint John, New Brunswick is the second-largest city in the province with a population of 68, 043 as of 2006 (Statistics Canada). A deep, dense fog hangs over the city for most of the year, especially in July. Our city politics are more exciting and heated than you’d expect from a small city and we dump our sewage into our harbour. We’re working on that. You also can’t really drink the water and we’re kind of working on that too. (more…)

Your HRM

Posted: April 20, 2011 by lukemuise in Uncategorized

Nestled together on the east coast of Nova Scotia lie the cities and communities which make up the Halifax Regional Municipality. Its a vast expanse of business parks, residential areas, downtown cores huddled neatly around Halifax harbour. For many visitors, it would be easy to think that the Halifax Regional Municipality was all one place, but really there are several communities that make up the HRM. The two largest are Halifax and Dartmouth, but there are also Sackville, Bedford, Cole Harbour, Eastern Passage and Eastern Shore.

The Halifax area has become known for its cultural diversity, rich history, opportunities for education, its unparalleled music scene, and its ability to organize top quality events like the World Hockey Championships in 2008, or more recently The Canada Games. Aside from that, people can still find beautiful scenery in places like the Public Gardens, or if they’re feeling old school they can check out one of many historic sites around the city. Halifax is a city with a lot going on. From sports events at the Metro Centre, to plays and concerts at Neptune Theatre, to the annual Busker Festival on the boardwalk.

When you walk around its streets there is a palpable sense of a place that is trying  modernize itself while still being able to hold onto the the history that makes the city what it is. For every old, stone building there is a new, modern one beside it.

In a place with so much going on, the people need a way to be able to keep track of it all. Hopefully, using the tool I call “Your HRM”, people will be able to get the information, organization, and connectivity they need to make the Halifax area come alive for them.

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Cornerbrooker [dot] com

Posted: April 20, 2011 by Sara Power in Uncategorized

The Corner Brook Pulp & Paper Mill

In my hometown, Corner Brook, Newfoundland, our news media includes a local radio station CFCB, CBC Radio, the newspaper The Western Star, and a local Rogers cable that is most notably known for the show The Corner Brook Cafe.

Then, in June 2010, cornerbrooker.com, powered by wordpress.com, came onto the scene. It is a glorified blog, a place where people can contribute interesting stories and events and have a conversation about it. It is made by the people, for the people. The primary contributer is Tom Cochrane, but he’s definitely not the only one.

Tom is a few years older than me. I remember that he was in a band that won Battle of the Bands one year. And he was dating my dance instructor. Now he contributes news and events to this community blog.

Cornerbrook.com started with ‘photos of the day’ from the cornerbrooker flickr group, blog posts with links to the most interesting news from the Western Star and elsewhere, pictures of interesting things happening in the city, like when the Brewed Awakening coffee shop opened a second shop. 60 pages of blog posts later, and the blog posts are starting to resemble journalistic stories, there’s information about voting, more people are taking part including history stories from the museum archives, and local videos from Grenfell’s Visual Arts program.

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Proximity is Priority.

Posted: April 20, 2011 by Mike Carter in Uncategorized

Like this house, online-only publications await their foundation.

Introduction

As newspapers continue to decline, the building of a sustainable economic model for online news websites still remains undecided. The manner in which news is disseminated has changed so dramatically that the industry can’t keep up.

Says John Paton, the new head of Journal Register newspapers: “We have had nearly 15 years to figure out the web and, as an industry, we newspaper people are no good at it.”

The traditional newspaper’s economic model relies on a funding structure that is based primarily on selling audience numbers to those who wish to advertise in their publication. Secondly, newspapers have for years supplemented this revenue with sales, there are no secrets being revealed here. With content mainly free online, the problem with building a successful model for an online-only publication lays in pushing revenue past a reliance on ads and finding a way to provide something the public is willing to pay for. (more…)

How to Insert Page Breaks

Posted: April 20, 2011 by sharonfawcett in Uncategorized

Alyssa made a good point about page breaks, but I think a few people might have been absent from class when Philip showed us how to insert them. If you already know, I don’t mean to insult you. If you don’t know how to do it, the page break icon is under the “Visual” tab, top row, fourth from the right, immediately to the left of the spell check checkmark. Just put your cursor where you want to have a page break (after the first paragraph, for example) and then click the icon. Only the text above the page break will appear on the main screen of the blog. I’ll remove this post in a couple of days so it doesn’t interfere with what’s becoming a great looking blog. Good job, everyone!

Page breaks!

Posted: April 20, 2011 by Alyssa Mosher in Uncategorized

Hey guys! Don’t forget to put a page break in the blogs! With posts this long, it makes it hard to scroll through and find stuff when the break isn’t there. Thanks!!

Construction of the High Level Bridge, Edmonton, Alberta. Taken from "maybe edmonton" blog.

The City

Edmonton boasts many of the amenities of an ideal urban centre like Toronto or Montreal, but the majority of it is poorly designed. An steady flow of newcomers combined with availability of cheap farmland sold for residential development has resulted in major urban sprawl. I would argue that although Edmonton is smaller in size and population than Toronto and Montreal, it lacks accessibility and the essence of connectedness a city of its size should have. The overarching goal of my internet platform is to unite the city by giving it a vessel for the stories that matter most to its people.

Edmonton is often perceived as a “blue-collar” city because of its association with industry; at first glance, it’s not an artful place. While this is simply untrue – for example, Edmonton is home to a thriving theatre community and hosts North America’s oldest and largest Fringe Theatre festival – there is a stigma that brands the city as cold and lacking imagination. In my opinion, Edmonton’s arts community is incredibly vital to its appeal and sustenance as a city not only for its inherent value, but for its energy. Of course there is a place for industry – it creates jobs for a healthy economy and this keeps unemployment rates down – but the problem with it is it’s often a quick fix for newcomers who don’t stay to invest in the city. People move to Edmonton and stay for a few years to make a quick buck and don’t stay, so there is less of a forceful demand for investment in the things that make a city appetizing such as infrastructure and accessible transit. I would like to see a community forum filled with news about efficient and sustainable urban planning for new projects, preserving and recycling historic buildings instead of ripping them down without cause, and a focus on drawing more traffic through the cultural hubs of the city while putting money into a downtown face-lift.

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 Revitalizing Canada’s Oldest Incorporated  City.

Saint John is a city in need of media revolution.

I’m a lifelong west Saint Johner. I ventured up Route Seven three years ago to Fredericton, intent on pursuing a career in journalism. It wasn’t until I lived in a new city that I learned how different my home city is.

Saint John is home to some of the richest people in Canada, and the poorest. The Irving family, who own Irving Oil, J.D. Irving Limited, and all of the daily newspapers in the province, are in the top ten richest families in Canada. Saint John is also home to poverty, crime and urban sprawl. I’ve been fortunate enough to work for one of the Brunswick News papers in Saint John for the past two summers. The Irving family has drawn criticism for what has been referred to as a “media monopoly” on the province’s news. But for me, my summer internships have been an opportunity to get to know the city better and fall in love with Saint John.

The problem is, not everyone loves Saint John. It’s been described as Stinktown, and “the asshole of New Brunswick.” Not exactly complimentary. The people who dislike Saint John, dislike it. But the people who love it, love it A LOT.

I think the key to revitalizing the city is by harnessing these people for a multi-media project and newsletter. Saint John’s young population is dwindling, but the “hip and trendy” young city dwellers really make their presence known. These people have blogs, host parties, fashion shows, fundraisers, festivals and are the driving force behind some of the cities most successful small businesses.

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The Village of Tracy is located approximately 40 kilometres outside of Fredericton, New Brunswick. It has a population of just over 600. Putting that number into perspective, there are movie theatres in Toronto that hold more people. In comparison, those movie theatres also have a economy that is self-sustaining, bringing in revenue and spending it in the same location, while Tracy serves mostly as an out-of-way
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The Island Times

Posted: April 20, 2011 by stephaniekelly10 in Uncategorized
 
Rustico, Prince Edward Island

Nestled in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Prince Edward Island sits as a fabric work of small towns and villages. In many ways, PEI is a province stuck in time. While other provinces entered into periods of expansion, development and modernization, Prince Edward Island preserved the traditional nature that defines it. This is the province that still had party lines in 1989. It is the type of place where living off the land is a way of life, where everyone knows their neighbour and where being a Catholic or a Protestant is still criteria for marriage. Prince Edward Island was first known as Epewitk or “cradle on the waves,” and that’s just what it is. Its shoreline is traced with famous pristine beaches that stand alone in the evening sun. (more…)

Not just another community

Posted: April 20, 2011 by Alyssa Mosher in Uncategorized

When I started working on this final project, I wasn’t sure it was going to make it. My ideas seemed a little vague. I just wanted to see what I was thinking. So I decided to make a “template” for a website. And instead of writing a 2000-word piece, the words are spread out throughout website, answering the different questions we were supposed to think about. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t anywhere near as sophisticated as I would want the real product to be, but it may just give everyone a better idea of…my idea.

So sit back, explore and enjoy Not just another community where the stories of the small towns of Nova Scotia are told.

Final Project – Atlantic Media Network

Posted: April 20, 2011 by seanoneill34 in Uncategorized

This project contradicts my theory that local news is becoming less relevant and important to citizens, especially those in my generation, but I’ll sacrifice this rationale for the sake of this assignment and assume that there will always be a massive public appetite for this information. Also, this, if done properly, can really work if the vision and content is perfect.

My vision is the Atlantic Media Network, a collection of reporters based in bureaus in all the major spots throughout the Atlantic region. Halifax, Sydney, Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, St. John’s, Charlottetown, et al would have a bureau covering everything there is to be known in each city, region and province.

Because you asked for a synopsis of my city instead of a broad outlook, I’ll focus in on Cape Breton as a whole. Our daily paper, the Cape Breton Post, has few daily stories that are written by Post staff. Most of the stories in the paper are picked up from the Associated Press or Canadian Press wire, including columns from national writers such as Chantal Hebert and Tim Harper. Two full pages are dedicated to obituaries, which shows that a lot of older people still read the paper religiously because that’s the best way to find out which of their friends have died. There is also national and international sections that are dedicated to that niche, but clearly all of those stories are taken from the wires, and if you’re a foreign affairs junkie the Cape Breton Post is not going to be the first destination.

Other than that, it’s slim pickings. But the issues that are most important to Cape Bretoners are the police force; the health care system; the local arts and music scene, which always gets recognized at the ECMA’s; the school board; the QMJHL hockey team; community issues; and all of the local MLA’s and MP’s. I rarely see town hall stuff — perhaps because I’m not looking on those days, I don’t care, or because they don’t have anyone who covers it, which I doubt.

That’s what matters in Cape Breton. The island for the longest time was built on blue collar workers in coal mines and when they shut down in the late 90’s-early 2000’s many people were out of work, and many Cape Bretoner’s who expected to spend their lives working manual labor jobs for the municipality had to scramble for other options and didn’t have any education to fall back on. These people had very little time to care about what went on outside the bubble of this island, and the Post reflected what they wanted to know. Too bad it’s a very insular world.

But what does get covered gets covered well, but the Post’s format is so antiquated. I don’t go to the individual sections the paper has to see who won in the NHL last night, or the latest news on the Japan disaster. There are better sources of information to receive it from, and certainly more faster than a daily newspaper. But Jacques Poitras told a group of us during he and Dan McHardie’s lecture during ARCUP that what news services should be doing, especially in smaller places, is finding a niche and killing it and providing unique information to the public that nobody else can publish.

That would be the vision for the Atlantic Media Network. It would be dedicated to bring the Atlantic provinces all the news that matters to its citizens. Each bureau would have town hall reporters so the public is kept up to date on what is going on in the local communities. This goes back to making sure that our democracy is kept in check and those elected to uphold the principles of our society do so.

The town hall reporters would also be responsible for keeping track of the local MP or MLA, depending on the region. Clearly in a place such as Halifax, which has numerous elected representatives, there would be more reporters on the ground following this news. Each bureau will also have reporters dedicated to keeping track on local community issues, such as health care and the school board. Depending on funding this could be divided amongst numerous reporters or one who takes it all on. The vision for the news team would be no different than that in any normal newsroom, reporters entrenched in the community going after stories.

But how do we fund this project? While I do believe that public broadcasting is a wonderful thing because of transparency and lack of corporate interests which could cause conflicts of interest in reporting, I’m not convinced that the citizens of the Atlantic provinces have the appetite to fund such a new organization. And if there is a demand for it, will it be big enough to generate the revenue capable to produce the work that I envision? I’m skeptical about this so that’s why the AMN will be funded by sponsors and advertisers and, hopefully, be owned by a family or numerous shareholders or companies that can fund the company without any hassle. Could this lead to ethical journalistic problems? Sure, just look at the Irving monopoly. But for my vision of the company, I believe this is the best way to go.

Now how would I pitch this organization? I do so by describing the content that will be available for those who consume the content from AMN. This will be the first media organization in the region — that I’m aware of — that will not be based around a newspaper or a television station. We all know that newspaper consumption is going down as the years go on, but I’m also skeptical about the future of TV news. The anecdotal age of those who watch the six o’clock news I would guess is roughly the same of those who read the newspaper every morning. That generation is going to be wiped out sooner than later so instead of trying to bring those people in, it’s more important to get a foothold of the generation that has grown up in the digital age.

The AMN starts out as a website, but we can’t use it like a typical news website does now. Each section has its own page that breaks down into the typical sections that a newspaper would have. But instead of just the straight text for a typical news story, each journalist is responsible for filing stories in written and video format. The business of reporting is changing to the point that any journalist that is one-dimensional is going to be left in the dust. Journalists who only specialize in print or television I believe will eventually become extinct, and the consumers need to see a commitment to getting the information across in numerous ways. If you don’t have time to read an entire print story, you can watch the minute-and-a-half video report. If you’d rather read, then the print story is there for you. Keeping options open for the costumer is imperative. At the end of each day, on the video section of the website, all videos will be put in a section for each day’s news and will be divided by province then community. The same will go for feature stories — which is my favourite type of journalism. This piece about a former football player who wrongfully spent time in prison is the perfect way to bring in the viewer. Again, if they’d rather read or watch, they have both options. Anybody on the staff is open to pitch story ideas for features and can attack them however they wish. As the site grows, eventually there can be room for designated feature writers/broadcasters and columnists.

Cape Breton, for example, will have town hall reporters for each community that has municipal government, political reporters who cover the MP’s and MLA’s from our region, sports writers for the university and QMJHL teams, arts reporter for the entertainment scene, and a general community reporter for the other issues that pop up.

To go along with the corporate funding, the AMN will begin as a subscription based site. Just like a newspaper or a television station, you have to pay for the content. I believe that your product is only worth what people are willing to pay for it. So we have to begin charging out of the gate so we don’t create an apathetic feeling for our organization, where they always expect news to be free and effortless. The Times of London put up a paywall in May 2010, and are getting subscribers. For a monthly fee of $29.99 — less than a dollar a day — a six month fee of $149.99 — less than 85 cents a day — or a year subscription of $274.99 — 75 cents a day — you can access everything that the site has to offer. All fees can be paid in increments that better serve the consumer’s needs.

What else can you access? Exclusive tablet and mobile app so you can consume the news wherever you are. Our reporters will also be expected to produce podcasts weekly or daily, depending on the beat that they’re on, for more perspective, analysis and opinion. Yes, the production costs can be high for all of this stuff. But we don’t have to pay any of the bills on newspaper machines or a TV studio or the best cameras in the business. And with the Network serving four provinces with a population of almost 2.4 million people, if 10% of the population (which may be a tad high to get at the start) buy yearly subscriptions, that’s over $65 million in revenue. I’m sure after that we can pay the bills and pay the workers properly and continue to serve the community with the information that they need to know. And I think it goes without saying that each reporter must be active on Twitter. They don’t have to stick to tweeting news, they can go outside that box and show some of their own personality. But we wouldn’t use YouTube because that would be giving away our video content for free which we shouldn’t do.

With all of these tools, you should be able to consume all the news you want and need, from your area and beyond at your pace and leisure so you aren’t beholden to time frame of the six o’clock news or reading the paper before going to work. News organizations can’t expect that its audience will construct their lives around the news broadcasts; the organizations have to adapt to their lives. The Atlantic Media Network will do just that.

The town of Florenceville-Bristol, New Brunswick is a small community of 2,000 people, after its amalgamation in 2008. The town surrounds the beautiful St. John River and offers a quaint and friendly atmosphere. Since its amalgamation in 2008, the town council has taken great efforts in growing is tourism department. Now offering such sites as the Summer Market, the Shogomoc Railway and a brand new boardwalk along the St. John River, Florenceville-Bristol is a beautiful town that I have grown to love.

A view of the boardwalk and bridge over the St. John River on Main St. in the town of Florenceville-Bristol

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Final Assignment: Local News – “The Valley”

Posted: April 19, 2011 by trevorjnichols in Uncategorized

The Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia is a unique news environment. It’s made up of several small, and a few medium-sized towns, stretched out along one long road. There’s no question that each town is its own unique place, with distinct people, culture and atmosphere.

For example: The town of Wolfville is the beating bohemian heart of the Valley. It is home to Acadia university, a thriving Saturday farmer’s market and for the most part a population of liberal-minded, forward-thinking young people. Just half an hour’s drive away sits the quaint town of Berwick. Berwick is close to the Michelin tire plant – the main source of jobs in the valley outside of agriculture industry – and is populated mostly by older people who tend to be on the conservative side.

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