Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
One way media get exclusives
I had thought Winnipeg School Division trustee Cathy Collins might have been joking when she told the board this week that the Toronto Globe and Mail had been given exclusive access to a warm and fuzzy event she’d just attended at Pinkham School.
Collins had been to the inner-city school to attend an announcement of a new music program by the Royal Conservatory of Music. Media magnate and Jets’ co-owner David Thomson was there.
Collins said that only the Globe and Mail was invited, and was granted an exclusive because Thomson owns the paper.
The division has confirmed Collins’ description of events.
"No media release was sent out. RCM contacted us to use a school for the photo op for the Globe. It was to be an exclusive piece," said WSD officials.
The Thomson family — as I have since read in the Globe and Mail — in fact donated $5 million nationally for the new music program for schools across the country, using Pinkham School to make the announcement... though only in the Globe and Mail.
A Royal Conservatory of Music communications officer told me today, "The Thomson family made a significant gift to The Royal Conservatory toward programming that will reach Canadians from coast to coast. As such, he felt a national platform would be best to convey the news."
Well, I feel slighted, I’ll tell you, keeping in mind that our stories go out on Canadian Press, never mind how big our local readership is — can’t imagine how miffed the CBC and CTV or Toronto Star might be feeling.
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About Nick Martin
Nick Martin is the old bearded guy at the back of the newsroom, the most experienced reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press, having started his career in Ontario in 1971.
He’s been covering education for the Free Press since the spring of 1997, after decades primarily covering municipal politics, including a four-year stint at the Ontario legislature for the London Free Press.
Nick moved to Manitoba in 1988 with his Winnipeg-born wife, who is a professor at the University of Manitoba. They have two kids, both of whom graduated from Grant Park High School: son Chris and daughter Gillian.
Nick has won a national journalism award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, two Manitoba Human Rights Journalism awards, and the Ontario Reporters Association investigative award.
Nick is a long-distance runner, having finished and survived 18 marathons and 15 half-marathons and 30-kilometre races, and having (barely) survived 10 years as an outdoor and indoor soccer coach.
Nick became a soccer referee in 2007, delighting in his 60s in outrunning 16-year-olds and keeping his distance from obstreperous coaches and parents.
Nick and his wife have discovered a mutual love for kayaking at their Whiteshell cottage, and are both regulars at the Reh-Fit Centre. They hold season tickets to both the Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Warehouse, and as empty nesters, have rediscovered the joys of an active winter vacation.
A native of Jarrow-on-Tyne, England, Nick is a member of the Toon Army as a Newcastle United supporter, and a proud citizen of Leafs Nation.
Blogs that Nick Martin follows:
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