Community Journalists: communications cornucopia overlooked

di Joe Volpe del May 26, 2019

TORONTO - One can tire quickly of vacuous statements by people in positions of authority who blather on and on about the importance of a free press to the democratic process or to “community building”.

Those in a financial position to make a difference in both “put their money where their mouth is”. There is usually a good return – democratically and commercially.

News Media Canada (NMC) reports that community newspaper readers respond to advertising exposure, citing six different actions that reflect engagement by the readers from 45% to 68% responsiveness.

Community newspapers, according to NMC, are the [most] effective vehicle for delivering relevant information to those it will most impact. In 2016, they generated $834,386,000 in advertising across Canada.

For its 1032 member “titles”, that’s an average of $808,513 per title annually, augmented by a further $39,843,000 ($38,607.00 each) from online advertising revenue generated by their digital presence.

The National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC), which represents seven million Canadians (22% of the population) outside the orbit of the nominal mainstream Press and Media (and of which we are a member), is on the cusp of generating similar verifiable data.

It is not unreasonable to suggest that the NEPCC membership’s data could reflect statistics in the range of 33% of those cited by NMC. They are complementary, not competitive or adversarial organizations.

Corriere Canadese is already much bigger than any of the single members in the NMC, at least from a paid circulation point of view, and from a total readers perspective, calculated annually.

As noted in Thursday’s edition, Corriere has a verifiable minimum of 1,500,000 readers in its print format and 3,000,000 in digital, replicative format and social media.

At our lowest paid weekly distribution, Corriere’s reach is as large as Toronto Star’s entire Metroland Media Group’s 106 titles.

The country’s largest group by paid circulation, Postmedia Network Inc. at 52,801, only has an average of 530 copies sold per title – 1/30th our size.

And even the redoubtable Snap Newspaper Group Inc.’s 72 titles on average can only manage to distribute 10,000 FREE copies each, per week.

Our hardcopy readership, like that of many of our associates’ in the NEPMCC, is mature, accomplished, middle-aged (and beyond), professional or entrepreneurial with an above average or above median net worth. The type of people who buy goods and services, are into succession-planning and who take pride in fulfilling civic obligations - they vote.

Our online readers and social media followers fit the typical profile of the demographic that uses the latest communications technology (relatively young and upwardly mobile).

Even compared to “other media” in the Italian ethnic-linguistic community, Corriere Canadese rises above the fray.

The main radio/tv outlet, CHIN, does not (cannot) produce verifiable audience figures. The latest Facebook analytics indicate a mere 10 postings per week, and only 6.1k “likes” for all of their programs. Corriere generates an average of 30 original posts per week. Together with our companion Nossa TV, has received 7.1K “likes” since September.

Telelatino network, (TLN) commissioned a study from Numeris (in 2018) to assess the viewership of OMNI news. The results (posted on the CRTC website) suggest that only 1,100 viewers spend time watching OMNI’s newscast.

Our GoLive news commentary has generated 181,500 viewers since September. Its associated Facebook views exceed a further 250,000.

TLN, for its part, produces no audited data in support of its own “viewership”. Today’s Facebook analytics indicate that it has no posts in the last week, and, a cumulative total of 108 “likes”.

There are other weeklies, monthlies or “vanity magazines” currying the favour of those with disposable incomes to engage in self-promotion – a legitimate exercise - but there is no verifiable data as to “readership”. They are distributed “free”.

Governments, consciously or otherwise, move away from “advertising” government plans and projects in these mediums that are distributed “free”, “ethnic” or not.

The outcome is that denigrate the serious press, try to “starve it to death”, or, more recently start to establish their own “friendly” network agencies, propaganda arms, to be blunt, like Ontario News.

There is a better way. Corriere’s audited numbers suggest a readership that is both significantly reflective and responsive.

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Corriere Canadese
287 Bridgeland Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M6A-1Z6
Tel: 416-782-9222 - Fax: 416-782-9333
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