Into the Wild

(Or into the wild, wild world of the East Coast where mainlanders seem apt to loose their footing)

Hosted by The Journal, Saint Mary’s University

7/13 ARCUP members in attendance: The Argosy, The Baron, The Brunswickan, The Cadre, The Caper Times, The Journal, The Xaverian Weekly.

Check ins

[bra_toggle collapsable=’no’ caption=’The Argosy’] Life is peachy Editor-in-Chief Richard Kent told us. Independently incorporated The Argosy’s budget and operations are stable and working well. Relations with their Board of Directors are also good with the board acting as a positive support for the paper. [/bra_toggle]

[bra_toggle collapsable=’no’ caption=’The Baron’] For online editor Leon Haggarty, the year at The Baron is exciting. He’s working on web design and new features to the website such as RSS feeds featuring updates from the CUPwire and their student union. The Baron is publishing online daily and is looking to standardize the inclusion of voice clips with stories. The Baron’s last print issue was printed nearly one month ago so they are adjusting to their new online-only publication schedule. So far stats and student engagement are higher than in previous years and the move to an online-only model is garnering positive reactions. [/bra_toggle]

[bra_toggle collapsable=’no’ caption=’The Brunswickan’] The Brunswickan is basking in the afterglow of passing a fee levy last semester. The increase in fees to the tune of $1.50 marks the first time in over a decade The Bruns has raised its’ student levies. However, as Arts Editor Lee Thomas explained, though the levy now means The Bruns is keeping up with inflation, the levy hasn’t allowed the paper to get ahead financially as they had hoped. On the editorial side, The Bruns has begun a weekly video series (the first vid debuted last week), which is starting strong, according to Editor-in-Chief Nick Murray. [/bra_toggle]

[bra_toggle collapsable=’no’ caption=’The Cadre’] Staff and volunteer retention is proving to be a major challenge for The Cadre’s Editor-in-Chief Olivia Robinson. Hiring is ongoing with a slow flow of volunteers contributing to the paper, which means the current editors have been working overtime. The Cadre has been online-only for over a year and publish three stories every weekday. They just transitioned to a new website to allow for better advertisement and are struggling with both a student union (and university) facing budgetary problems, which means, by extension, The Cadre is facing budgetary problems.[/bra_toggle]

[bra_toggle collapsable=’no’ caption=’The Caper Times’] The Caper Times is in a good place according to Editor-in-Chief Mitch Mäder. After developing a two-year plan for the publication last year, rewriting their bylaws and brokering winning deals with printers and the local Cape Breton paper, things are going smoothly. The only low point is a lack of volunteers contributing to each issue, paper correspondent Frederick Boutilier said. [/bra_toggle]

[bra_toggle collapsable=’no’ caption=’The Journal’] After a winning a slim majority in their existence referendum last year The Journal is working hard to continue building itself up, Editor-in-Chief Cydney Proctor said. (At Saint Mary’s University, The Journal must face an existence referendum every four years.) Governance issues on the immediate horizon for this year include a challenging dynamic on The Journal’s Board of Directors and the paper’s annual general meeting in about a month. [/bra_toggle]

[bra_toggle collapsable=’no’ caption=’The Xaverian Weekly’] The Xav has made a remarkable turnaround from a few years ago when the student union nearly shut down the paper. Editor-in-Chief Sean McEvoy attributed the change to a dramatically changed relationship with their student union. With the union’s more realistic view of The Xav as a student service that’s goal is not to make money, expectations have been  adjusted allowing both the paper and the union to work well together. The Xav has also developed a new business model and new operations to strong results. After a month-long staff strike last year, The Xav was the only publication that followed the labour dispute consistently and as a result the image of the paper on campus as a vital part of student life was strengthened. [/bra_toggle]

The Conference

[bra_toggle collapsable=’no’ caption=’Kim Pittaway’]Seasoned freelancer and current journalism professor, Kim Pittaway spoke at ARCUP on the reality of freelancing and the real life lessons she learned the hard way. Her first lesson; be mercenary about it. Discipline yourself, read your contracts closely, ask for clarification if you don’t understand and sit down with an accountant. As a freelancer, you should operate like a small business – know what you can claim in taxes, get life and disability insurance and budget responsibly. Always be a pro (no matter who you’re dealing with) and do your peers a solid and help them get work if you can – karma is real, according to Kim.[/bra_toggle]

[bra_toggle collapsable=’no’ caption=’Stephen Kimber | Keynote’]A former campus journalist at the Dalhousie Gazette, now-director of King’s Journalism School Stephen talked about his beginnings as a journalist in the Atlantic region and how he ended up writing long fiction books, like his latest epic on the Cuban Five. It took him 10 years to figure out exactly what he wanted to do within the industry but assured us that “journalism is the most fun that you can have while staying within the law.” To him journalists have two goals they should aim for: to educate and to entertain. His advice is to follow your curiosity, look for the opportunity in the current hard times and go to J-School (there just aren’t as many curmudgeon-y senior editors around who have the time to teach young journalists the ins and outs of the business, he explained).[/bra_toggle]

[bra_toggle collapsable=’no’ caption=’Break out’]Break out sessions for section editors, design and layout editors and editors-in-chiefs to discuss challenges and swap skills and tips.[/bra_toggle]

[bra_toggle collapsable=’no’ caption=’Waye Mason’]Waye Mason, a former journalist turned politician, talked about the important role students played in his election and how students hold more power in their communities than they think. “The student population is not only huge but it’s organized,” he said referring to the size of student unions on campuses like Dalhousie. So where does he see campus newspapers fitting in? Well, to him, they don’t have the teeth they used to but he’s holding out hope. He’s seen Halifax’s media scene decline over the years with alt weeklies losing their prominence when it comes to covering municipal politics and holding politicians to their word – student papers could and should step in to fill the gaps overlooked by larger city or community media. “There’s an opportunity there for you guys to make a really big difference.”[/bra_toggle]

[bra_toggle collapsable=’no’ caption=’Selena Ross’]

One of the newer faces at the Halifax Chronicle Herald, it wasn’t long ago that Selena Ross was on the other side of the conference room – an enthusiastic student looking to build a career in journalism. After attending Columbia Journalism School she worked out of New York and Montreal before landing in Halifax and she had some advice for those coming up now: First, keep your day or night job. Work doesn’t come easy, and blowing through your savings as you look for it won’t improve matters. When you’re working with a new editor treat them like someone you’re trying to date – though the relationship is different, you want to be treating your relationship with them to that kind of calibre. And finally, there are opportunities abroad for journalist willing to work in English.[/bra_toggle]

Unofficial plenary discussion

[bra_toggle collapsable=’no’ caption=’Ideas exchanged’]Led by Atlantic Bureau Chief Cherise Letson and Atlantic Regional Director Mitch Mäder ARCUP discussed the idea of forming a regional purchasing coop in order to negotiate better deals with printers in the Maritimes and the CUPwire.

For Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I. there are two regional printers both of which have had lacklustre service to campus papers of late. If the purchasing coop were to be set up, the regional director Mäder would act as negotiator for all ARCUP papers. The purchasing coop is still an idea in development. Contact for more information.

A large part of the discussion on CUPwire revolved around whether photos, videos and stories from other CUP papers are up for grabs even if they are not on CUPwire. The answer: yes. As members, papers have agreed to share content (written, images, multimedia) with one another. CUPwire should act as a comprehensive aggregate of all the work members are doing however, if you find a story on a member’s site that has not been put on the wire, you can still run it on your own paper/site. Finally all members present agreed it would be beneficial to have a submission system in place for CUPwire so contributors and editors can submit pieces to the National Bureau Chief to post.

Other topics discussed included whether two ARCUP conferences were needed. Consensus was that both conferences are of value as conferences serve as a good way to get volunteers involved and check in with other papers(particularly for papers who don’t attend NASH).[/bra_toggle]

CUP partners in conference-mode

[bra_toggle collapsable=’no’ caption=’FREE Media’]Vikram Seth and Ashleigh Brown attended ARCUP and presented on the work FREE has been doing over the summer and how multinational advertising has fared for papers that signed with them. Vik answered questions from various members and distributed their first edition of FREE News. Business managers take note: A very useful article on the worth of campus advertisement in student newspapers is featured on the back page. According to Vik, this article (page 8) is a great resource when dealing with advertisers. Articles from campus journalists about campus media are being solicited for the winter edition of the FREE newsletter - and yes, you’ll be paid for your work. Contact Ashleigh for more information or to pitch a story.[/bra_toggle]

[bra_toggle collapsable=’no’ caption=’CWA-Canada’]Program coordinator Katherine Lapointe introduced Kim Pittaway to delegates and also organized a mixer over which delegates discussed internship/work opportunities and learned more about the services CWA can provide aside from mentorships and internships - important stuff like health insurance.[/bra_toggle]

National staff presentation

[bra_toggle collapsable=’no’ caption=’The state of CUP’] This is a big year for CUP. We need all hands on deck (this isn’t even a coastal themed pun, literally, we do) so Erin and Brendan prepared a presentation to bring members up to speed on what’s happening with CUP and where we’re heading. Note to readers not present for the presentation: the slides are outlines of what was discussed by the national staff and could seem out of context. If you have questions or require clarification, contact Erin.


Special thanks to sponsors Canadian University Press and Saint Mary’s University as well as CWA-Canada and FREE Media.