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So... I started a newspaper.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Sheri, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. Sheri

    Sheri Member

    Yes, at the height of the newspaper collapse, I quit my job to start a regional newspaper to serve southwest Saskatchewan and southeast Alberta.

    It has been going exceptionally well, but I am in dire need of freelance writers – I never thought it would be so hard! But it seems the freelancers are exceptionally picky about their work and I do require writers with some understanding of this region and the issues here, which are mostly rural in nature.

    Any tips, suggestions and accusations are most welcome.
  2. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Congrats!! Is it an online paper, or does it at least have an online presence?

    I've thought about doing something along the same lines in my little corner of Ontario. What made you decide you wanted to take this step?

    I don't really have anything to suggest.....just wanted to offer my congratulations and best wishes. :)
  3. Sheri

    Sheri Member

    Thanks. Yeah, www.thebadger.ca
    I am using the website for its interactive capability and for breaking news, election results and for publishing community material I can't (or won't) fit into the print edition.

    Mostly, I think what spurred me on was I found after moving to a small town in a large, rural region from a big city, was finding out how many big news stories and issues there are here. I mean, I've had national quality stories out here. Also, this area has recently gone through a period of regionalization which has triggered school closures and more centralized healthcare. But, the individual towns and areas within the region weren't communicating and were often unaware of shared concerns. And the existing medias were just a little toothless. I worked for a couple of years as editor at one of the small town papers here, and was permitted to do some real journalism, but felt pretty constricted in terms of my coverage area.

    So, I moved an hour north of the town I was living in to sort of fly in under the radar initially and the regional idea seems popular with readers and advertisers and has really freed me to pursue the kind of news I like to cover. I leave the bake sales to the other locals and focus on the biggies. Plus, the added coverage area has afforded a bit of a financial cushion has I have more leverage with advertisers and a larger reader base.

    It's been a steep learning curve, I haven't avoided an allniter on deadline night yet and I have to label each paper manually! But it is rewarding and the speed at which we are growing surpassed my expectations!

    What is the area you are considering a paper for like? What part of Ontario? I am originally from Winnipeg.
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Just wondering why a small newspaper in Saskatchewan running a column on national U.S. politics.
  5. Sheri

    Sheri Member

    Because people in Saskatchewan like to read columns about American politics. ;)
  6. Magic In The Night

    Magic In The Night Active Member


    Congratulations! That is great. Very impressive. I'm looking at Canada out my window right now on the other side of the river. Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to freelance because of our non-compete rules but I wish you good luck.
  7. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Active Member

    Good on you, Sheri.

    Our start-up seems to be going strong 15 months after the launch (despite management's best efforts). I hope you end up enjoying similar success, if not more.
  8. Sheri

    Sheri Member

    You have started a paper as well? What is your market like? What do you attribute to your success?
    Congratulations as well!
  9. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Active Member

    We're an English-language paper in Jakarta, Indonesia (population 8.5 million-ish), so I'm not sure our situations are all that analogous. Our success, I think, is down to patient ownership and an underserved demographic (one gray, craptacular ELP in the metro area for English-capable businesspeople, expats and tourists).

    We've already blown past the competition in terms of quality (journalistic and visual) — which, in all honesty, wasn't difficult. Now it's a matter of figuring out things such as distribution and advertising so we can put down roots and not end up in the long lineage of failed bule start-ups.
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