Canadian newspapers: Not good enough

Canadian newspapers: Not good enough

Re: ‘Nosier, newsier, feistier,’ (Strategy MEDIA, May 3/04, p. M 3).

Further to the column in Strategy MEDIA, I’d like to clarify one of my comments, which may have caused some upset.

What I had meant to say is that newspapers in Canada have suffered because the cut and thrust of competition has not been strong enough and this has brought in an air of complacency at a time when circulation and readership have been generally declining.

I did not mean to say that all reporters were lazy, but merely to emphasize that what has been happening journalistically in Canada in recent years has not been sufficient to stem these sales losses and has not been focused enough as a way of retaining existing readers and acquiring new ones.

Whatever we have been doing in newspapers in Canada, however well intentioned, has not been good enough and we have to strive hard to find out what readers and advertisers want from us and to give it to them. Carrying on in the same way is not a solution.

Neil Fowler, Publisher and CEO, Toronto Sun, Toronto, Ont.

Wolowich was straight-ahead

Re: ‘Wolo’s gone, and it hurts me more than I knew,’ (Strategy, May 17/04, p. 11).

I thought John Burghardt’s tribute to Bob Wolowich was as accurate as it was affectionate. I worked with Bob as creative director in my first job in Canada at Goodis. Doug Linton was then president. Bob’s direct, honest, practicality took my young, somewhat idealistic approach and grounded it in the way of the country I had adopted. In many ways he put me on my feet here and oriented me. I appreciated it then and even more so now.

‘Straight-ahead, plain and simple’ are attributes all too scarce in the world, particularly in our business.

In painting your affectionate portrait you not only did justice to Bob, but you reminded us of a set of virtues that are too often forgotten.

Ian Mirlin, EVP/CCO, Young & Rubicam, Toronto, Ont.