I’m excited to announce a new collaboration with the Cape Breton Spectator.
Here’s what I wrote about the Spectator when Mary Campbell launched the site last year:
Campbell is of the Campbell clan that published the former Cape Breton Highlander, a radical labour paper published in Sydney from 1963 through 1976, and her sister is Susan Campbell, the host of CBC Radio’s Quebec Morning Show, Quebec A.M.
A young Mary Campbell went off to Prague, where she honed her writing skills, and recently ended up back in Sydney. She’s been writing the occasional op-ed piece, and I published her article “I Went To Sydney Harbour Ports Day So You Didn’t Have To” here in the Examiner.
Campbell is everything a journalist should be: inquisitive, dogged, and unafraid. Even better, she’s wickedly funny.
The Spectator will be published weekly, on Wednesdays. The first edition contains Campbell’s introduction and an article on CBRM mayor Cecil Clarke’s reelection bid. Additionally Campbell has posted a previously published article detailing her hilariously frustrating examination into the Business Cape Breton economic development agency, and other older articles as well.
The very moment I saw the Cape Breton Spectator was live, I went and subscribed because we need hard-hitting, fearless, and independent journalism wherever it wants to bloom, and it needs supporting. My fantasy is that one day there will be a half-dozen subscriber-based online news sites like the Examiner and the Spectator across the province … and the sites can share articles and resources where practical. As I see it, the future of news is horizontal collaboration rather than vertical monopoly concentration.
I’ve been alarmed ever since Mark Lever and Sarah Dennis created Saltwire and then bought nearly every daily newspaper in Nova Scotia, PEI, and Newfoundland. That nearly monopolistic control of print media is not good for journalism, is not good for reporters, and is not good for readers.
After Saltwire was created, I travelled around Atlantic Canada to meet and talk with independent journalists wherever I could find them. My hope was to jump start that fantasy I wrote about last year, to see if we could begin some regional collaboration.
My very first stop was Sydney, because Campbell has a proven product and I admire her work. We met over beers and cobbled together the plan we are launching today.
Now, readers can subscriber to both news sites for $15. That’s a savings of $5 were you to subscribe to both sites independently. The hope, though, is that readers who have subscribed to one or the other site will now upgrade to a joint subscription.
The “extra” five dollars that we receive will be dedicated to new projects that will be published by both sites. It will provide a fund to hire freelance reporters to work on province-wide projects or stories that don’t take place in Sydney or Halifax, and for investigative costs.
The collaboration between the Examiner and the Spectator will expand the type of coverage you’ve come to expect from both sites. It is, I hope, the start of a collaborative model that can be expanded to support other journalistic initiatives in the Maritimes.
I interviewed Campbell for this week’s Examineradio podcast, which will be live on the homepage later this afternoon.
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