Open­ing up the con­ver­sa­tion on lo­cal me­dia

The Tele­gram and Saltwire Net­work present: The Open Up Project, a pub­lic con­ver­sa­tion on im­prov­ing lo­cal me­dia

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - FRONT PAGE - BY BETH PENNEY beth.penney@thetele­gram.com

Some of the par­tic­i­pants at Thurs­day’s Open Up Project event held at The Rooms in St. John’s. The on­go­ing project is aimed at open­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with the pub­lic on lo­cal me­dia — what we’re do­ing well, what needs im­prove­ment and how we can best serve our com­mu­ni­ties into the fu­ture. The project in­cludes ev­ery pub­li­ca­tion in the Saltwire Net­work across New­found­land and Labrador and At­lantic Canada and is a di­rect re­sponse to the di­rec­tion you gave us: it’s time to lis­ten to our au­di­ences and re­con­nect with our com­mu­ni­ties.

More than 100 peo­ple took part in a night of dis­cus­sions on lo­cal news and fresh plans for The Tele­gram’s fu­ture on Thurs­day evening as part of the Open Up Project.

Mark Lever, Pres­i­dent and CEO of Saltwire Net­work, spoke to the crowd about his com­mit­ment to lo­cal me­dia.

“We want to keep The Tele­gram the way that it’s al­ways been, but move it for­ward,” he said. “We know we are an im­por­tant part of the her­itage, but we want to be an im­por­tant part of the fu­ture in this prov­ince, as well.”

In April, Saltwire Net­work ac­quired The Tele­gram along with 26 other At­lantic Cana­dian news brands, in­clud­ing New­found­land and Labrador pa­pers The Western Star, The Aurora, The Labrado­rian, The North­ern Pen, The Nor’wester, The Pi­lot, The South­ern Gazette, The Packet, The Bea­con, The Ad­ver­tiser and The Com­pass.

It is the largest in­de­pen­dently owned me­dia com­pany in the coun­try, and Lever says he truly be­lieves in the in­dus­try.

“We be­lieve this is a new era in lo­cal me­dia,” said Lever . . . . .

Over the past six months Lever said he and his team have en­gaged in thou­sands of con­ver­sa­tions with peo­ple across At­lantic Canada.

“A big part of this is talk­ing to peo­ple who be­lieve that there is a fu­ture in what we’re do­ing,” said Lever. “We learned that we need to lis­ten to our au­di­ence more and get their feed­back.”

The Open Up Project is a chance to have a con­ver­sa­tion about At­lantic Cana­dian me­dia, and for Saltwire Net­work to learn what their au­di­ence wants to see cov­ered in the daily news.

You could choose between ei­ther en­gag­ing, record­ing or writ­ing your feed­back.

“It’s time to re­con­nect with the com­mu­ni­ties that we are in,” said Lever.

Lever says this project will be on­go­ing for a cou­ple of years.

“We want to con­tinue to en­gage with you, and hear what you have to say about our prod­ucts, brands and our re­port­ing, so that we can be es­sen­tial to you, and the com­mu­ni­ties that we are in,” said Lever.

Visit www.openupro­ject.ca to voice your opin­ion on what you would like to see cov­ered in your com­mu­nity.

BETH PENNEY/THE TELE­GRAM

BETH PENNEY/THE TELE­GRAM

Mark Lever, (left) Pres­i­dent and CEO of Saltwire Net­work and Tele­gram Man­ag­ing Edi­tor Steve Bartlett at the Open Up Project event Thurs­day night at The Rooms in St. John’s.

BETH PENNEY/THE TELE­GRAM

The Open Up Project, held at The Rooms in St. John’s on Thurs­day evening, is part of an on­go­ing ini­tia­tive by Saltwire Net­work and The Tele­gram to get pub­lic in­put into im­prov­ing lo­cal me­dia.

BETH PENNEY/THE TELE­GRAM

The crowd at The Rooms on Thurs­day evening at The Open Up Project, pre­sented by Saltwire Net­work and The Tele­gram.

BETH PENNEY/THE TELE­GRAM

Cather­ine Al­lan and An­drew James O’brien of the For­tu­nate Ones, pre­form­ing at the Open Up Project event Thurs­day evening.

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