Needed changes at the Chronicle-Telegraph

I decided it was time to bring you all up to date on more changes we are implementing at the QCT starting in 2008.

Over the last six months I have seen and learned a lot from friends and from dedicated employees of the newspaper. I have read extensive historical backgrounds on the operations of the oldest newspaper in North America going back more than a century.

With all this knowledge comes understanding and I hope this will lead to wise decisions about the future direction of our venerable newspaper.

I would like to explain a few changes to the newspaper in more detail. These items have been challenging over the last five months due to their costliness. (see paper cost increase). The first is subscriptions. Starting in January 2008, our subscription fee for the printed newspaper is increasing to $50 per year plus tax, or $1 per copy. This increase applies to the printed subscription only, and not to the online-only subscription, which includes the digital graphic version of the paper [PDF format]. It will remain at $37.65 per year. We are hoping that those who renew will take further advantage of the benefits of our Internet news service.

This increase better serves our cost and is more in line with our newsstand rate of $1.50. Also, we are very pleased to announce that we are selling more than 300 copies per week on the newsstand. We are hoping to expand our newsstand readership to more locations in the coming months. This means that there is a demand for English news here in the capital of Quebec, something I was hoping to find.

If you go to our website, www.qctonline.com, you will notice this change if you click on the “Share your Voice” icon at the top of the site. The different subscriptions and their fees are listed there.
Secondly, you will notice a significant change to the Community Calendar page and other areas of the print edition of the paper. We have decided to move the details of events on the calendar from the print edition to the “events” section of our website, though the time and place of events will still appear in the paper. With this change we will have more space for news and for advertisers in the same size newspaper.

The Internet gives us unlimited space without increasing our cost. So you will be able to access a calendar that is updated live, even as new events are entered.

Unlimited space is an important point to emphasize about our newspaper online. Please contribute news. The more the better. There is no limit online, and if you post your item to the website before Tuesday at 5 p.m., it will appear in the weekly edition.

We have invested heavily in creating our new website. It will brings your voice and your content to the paper. I would like to publish more news sent in through the website. I am asking for your support and your time and interest in the English-speaking community here in Quebec City. Please send us photos, news tips, articles and we will certainly publish them in the paper. The website receives well over 15,000 unique visitors per month.

I want to thank all those who have written to me personally. You have made my transition to Quebec City very pleasant and heart-warming. Thank you for your kindness.

This newspaper is your newspaper. Let’s not neglect a very unique and useful tool to keep our community well informed. Our website, combined with the newspaper, is on the cutting edge of change in the news media. You are part of history. The history of the oldest newspaper in North America. Get involved and write, contribute, read, comment, give your opinion on issues and our articles. All this is available to you right now.

Life Magazine once stated that the printing press was the greatest invention of the last 1,000 years. I would say that the invention of the Internet is an equally significant step forward.

I am excited and hopeful you will all join with me in being one of the first newspapers in the world to embrace the most historic change in news distribution since the invention of the printing press in 1440.