New Free Press additions to greet new year

Long before I joined the Winnipeg Free Press, one of my chores was taking care of the annual Samyn letter to our family and friends that needed to be mailed before the new year.

Read this article for free:

or

Already have an account? Log in here »

To continue reading, please subscribe with this special offer:

All-Access Digital Subscription

$1.50 for 150 days*

  • Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
  • Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
  • Access News Break, our award-winning app
  • Play interactive puzzles
Continue

*Pay $1.50 for the first 22 weeks of your subscription. After 22 weeks, price increases to the regular rate of $19.00 per month. GST will be added to each payment. Subscription can be cancelled after the first 22 weeks.

Opinion

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/12/2019 (1009 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Long before I joined the Winnipeg Free Press, one of my chores was taking care of the annual Samyn letter to our family and friends that needed to be mailed before the new year.

I would retreat to basement to hunker down over the typewriter — yes, I am dating myself with that reference, but at least ours was an electric one — and look for a way to make my mother’s random notes about the year more readable.

But as Free Press editor, what has become a year-end tradition of writing a note to you, our reader, is anything but a chore. It’s a chance for me to not only thank those who are increasingly funding our newsroom’s journalism, but also let them know what we have in store for the coming year.

So, without further ado, here are our resolutions to give you more reasons to read the Free Press in 2020:

We will add a dedicated climate change reporter, with marching orders to cover what will likely be the defining issue of our time.

This specialized beat will ensure the Free Press writes with authority on the science, impacts and politics surrounding the global warming crisis.

Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press files The Free Press is hiring an education reporter.
We will add a dedicated education reporter to cover a beat that used to be the staple of newsrooms but has long-since disappeared. We need to do a better job of explaining what is really happening in our classrooms. We need to track what is happening at school boards.

And we really need to watch the spending decisions involving the second-largest item in the provincial budget (especially as the Manitoba commission on K-12 education prepares to release its report).

We will introduce a new beat to focus on seniors; a growing part of the population projected to represent one in four Canadians in a decade.

We will deliver more stories about the people who make Winnipeg a better place to live, by way of a new recurring feature we are calling “This City,” with Danielle Da Silva.

We will introduce a new, wellness-focused section to increase the value of the Saturday print edition. To make room for this new feature, coverage of autos will move to a new home within another section.

How much do you remember about Winnipeg in 2019? Try your hand at our year-in-review crossword and enter to win Jets tickets and other prizes.
The only thing better than the crosswords and puzzles that are part of our diversions page will be more crosswords and puzzles. As editor, I learned long ago the one thing I shouldn’t mess with is our puzzles, but my hope is fans will welcome this coming change.

Our Jumble contest is going to see a new prize offering. As of Feb. 1, those who enter the draw will have a chance to win a special-edition tote bag that allows you to showcase our slogan: “A Strong Manitoba Needs a Strong Free Press.” The Jumble winners will also have a choice of books we have published that can be added to their tote bag for free.

My wish for 2020 is these additions to your Free Press experience will ensure you see value in supporting the largest independent newsroom in Western Canada.

My wish for 2020 is these additions to your Free Press experience will ensure you see value in supporting the largest independent newsroom in Western Canada.

I also hope the moves we are making to strengthen our journalism will help grow our online readership.

We began 2019 with a little more than 8,000 paid digital readers; we will end the year with 11,400 online subscribers.

Our game plan to secure a future for the Free Press in an increasingly digital world has us setting an ambitious target of 16,000 paid readers online by the end of 2020.

Clearly, there is much our newsroom needs to do in 2020. But there was lots to do, too, in 1872, when it was a barely-month-old newspaper preparing for New Year’s Eve in a shack on Main Street, with nothing more than a hand-cranked press that arrived by ox cart.

Our readers were worth it then. And today, 148 years later, our readers matter even more, given the challenges facing the industry and the threats to trusted, independent sources of news.

Happy new year!

paul.samyn@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @paulsamyn

Paul Samyn

Paul Samyn
Editor

Paul Samyn has been part of the Free Press newsroom for more than a quarter century, working his way up after starting as a rookie reporter in 1988.

History

Updated on Wednesday, January 1, 2020 9:30 AM CST: Typo fixed.

Report Error Submit a Tip