By Andrew Macdonald
The Macdonald Notebook has had record individual user visits to our website – since last weekend.
Our readership measurements show us that since the weekend, and up to this morning, Thursday, August 27th, 2020 we have had 3,900 Individuals visit our business and political website.
In the last 30-days, our readership measures as totaled by Google Analytics shows a record unique IP visit totaling nearly 8,000 individual visits to our website.
Not bad, for an upstart media website that finished its third year as an independent Nova Scotia news company.
These readership measurement figures as contained in my Google Analytics page can be taken to the bank.
But, these figures are not the total paid readership we rely on to pay the mortgage, put food on the table, and pay writers Phil Demont, Alison Strachan, Cape Breton’s Corey LeBlanc, the specially commissioned Summer 2020 Golf Tour with Tom Peters, and our writer over in charming Charlottetown, 40-year long journalist, Andy Walker.
We encourage our non-paying visitors to consider a Macdonald Notebook subscription.
A single subscription to The Notebook is a great way to support local journalism.
Growing since its launch in March 2017, The Macdonald Notebook is now read by many in the Nova Scotia-Halifax community of movers and shakers — by members of government, captains of industry, the pillars of business, and the titans of finance.
From an advertising vehicle, there is no surer way to make sure your message reaches your target demographic.
We offer affordable ad rates to reach our audience in all age groups of society. Your ads will reach a sophisticated, well-heeled audience of millennials to and those well into retirement years, people who don’t mind paying $3.50 per week to read our many news scoops and breaking news stories.
The Notebook’s ad department — yours truly — has been busy selling advertising on this popular and well-read web publication that reaches Nova Scotia-Halifax-wide with stories from business, politics, and cultural affairs.
To learn my advertising rates, email [email protected]
The Macdonald Notebook, now in its fourth year of independent publishing, would like to welcome aboard some new advertisers and thank existing ones.
This summer, Jon Dimick’s Chester Builders, builder of the QE II Health Sciences Cottage Lottery, joins as a new Notebook advertiser:
During the pandemic, Glenn Squires’ Digby Pines Resort & Golf and Country Club became an advertiser, as did Fred Greene & Monte Snow’s Fisherman’s Market.
Gregg Keating is advertising his Altimax Courier, and RBC Royal Bank is an advertiser.
Three realtors see real value in advertising with The Notebook. Larry Allen has had two recent ads, one plugging Gorsebrook Condos, and an ad for Amara Development’s townhouses in Bedford West.
Well known Red Door realtor Phil Slauenwhite has an ad with us, as does Engel & Volkers agent Rick Foster.
Other advertisers include Dan Jennings, merger and acquisition, and company exit guru at the Halifax office of BDO.
Leading independent furnishing store, the long-running Attica currently has a campaign with The Notebook.
Previous advertisers have also included the two hotels at Dartmouth Crossing.
And, the charming Liscombe Lodge wilderness oasis took out Notebook ad campaign, last summer and fall, as did Jim Spatz’s Southwest Properties, who plugged The Pavilion, Curve and Maple apartment/condo buildings.
Broker Tom Gerard of KW Commercial Advisors in Halifax also had a recent ad campaign on the go with The Notebook.
Others who have had ad campaigns in The Notebook include Steve Caryi’s Sea Smoke eatery at Bishop’s Landing, and we have had a campaign for the venerable Halifax Club, while another previous advertiser has been popular and independent Attica Furnishings, which took out a holiday campaign last year in The Notebook.
More on who reads us:
Using my readership measurement of Google Analytics, I am able to detail the age category of my readership.
I can ascertain the largest readership age category is from 45 to 55, and perhaps surprisingly, my second largest readership age category is from ages 25 to 35!
I am not surprised that Google Analytics tells me I have a robust audience of 20- and 30-somethings. But our reach includes robust support from all age groups in our society.
Here’s what The Notebook advertiser biz mogul Gregg Keating, chairman of the Keating Group of Companies, which includes Altimax Courier says of my business and inside politics journalism:
“Andrew Macdonald has encompassed ‘niche journalism’ and runs down the track with it, thoroughly crossing the finish line with each report. He leaves no stone unturned and no question unanswered. Factual, compelling reporting. A joyful read.”
Again, my advertising rates are available at [email protected]
You can design your ad campaign in-house, or allow my talented web developer and graphic designer to produce your Notebook ad.
Here’s an example of how your Notebook subscription is valued by me as a newbie media entrepreneur, thanks to your support as a paid reader.
The following report was released end of April by the Journalism School at Ryerson University:
By STEPH WECHSLER
From pay cuts to layoffs, print reductions to closures, thousands across the industry are hit hard by the pandemic
More than 100 media outlets in Canada have made cuts in 11 provinces and territories in a six-week period, with nearly 50 community newspapers shuttering. Upwards of 2,000 workers have been laid off.
Everything from local journalism outlets to broadcasting, independent papers and community radio have seen dramatic shifts as the coronavirus pandemic precipitates a slow-motion crash across the news business.
The moment municipalities in Canada went under lockdown, reports of labour and coverage cuts started to snowball.
What we found won’t surprise many who have been following the news. Still, the constellation of cuts is sobering. While these data aren’t absolute – our project will be updated regularly – we do know that at local and hyperlocal levels, the pandemic is accelerating what some are describing as a mass extinction event.
The Covid-19 Media Impact Map for Canada is a project of J-Source, the Local News Research Project at Ryerson’s School of Journalism, and the Canadian Association of Journalists. Cuts sourced through news reports, company statements and our own reporting have been used to create each marker. For large companies, in many cases it is not clear from the information available which divisions, publications or programs have been affected so we have mapped the changes to the head office location and the specific outlets where there is known impact. As a result, the number of news organizations affected by Covid-19 are underrepresented on the map. For more information, visit the LNRP’s website.
CAJ vice-president Brent Jolly says taking a snapshot is critical to ensure that when the health crisis abates, there’s documentation to ensure these conditions don’t become “the new normal.”
As of April 29:
- 50 outlets have temporarily or permanently closed. Of these, 48 are community newspapers.
- 19 newspapers— 11 community and 8 daily papers — have canceled some or all print editions.
- 78 outlets have reported layoffs or job losses.
- 2,053 editorial and non-editorial workers have been laid off.
Journalists and media workers across Canada are suffering from the labour impacts, as are other sectors. Despite challenging employment conditions, they are sourcing and delivering crucial information on a protracted, history-defying news event. The stakes are as high as ever for figuring out how to serve the public and its right to know. The reality of news poverty is a specific concern in smaller markets without their own reporters where audiences are increasingly receiving more regional news.
While criticism of earlier announced tax measures persist, media unions, lobby groups and some news managers have intensified calls for government support of journalism. The Canadian Press said in a memo to staff that it was investigating its eligibility for government assistance amid declining revenues. Postmedia had warned of impending cuts before shuttering 15 community newspapers and laying off 80 staff on April 28.
Whether you live in a community too small for government agencies to release place-specific Covid-19 infection data for privacy reasons or local concern about safety is brewing, a local news outlet – let alone an ecosystem – is essential.
Lindgren, who leads the LNRP, has been mapping local news closures that have taken place since 2008.
“To put the damage to the community newspaper sector in perspective, we know from the Local News Map that 215 community papers have been shut down in the last 12 years,” says Lindgren. “For almost 50 papers to close in just the last six weeks is unprecedented. It shows just how seriously residents’ access to local news is being undermined.”
Lindgren says that research, most of it done in the United States and Europe, shows that regular local news consumers are more likely to participate in civic functions, better able to advocate for themselves within political systems and less likely to vote in incumbents.
While a new crop of digital outfits have emerged to fill information needs for target audiences, ongoing research shows that loss of local news services continue to outpace the gains. The LNRP’s latest analysis of data from the Local News Map shows that while 87 communities are now home to new outlets since 2008, 214 have lost one or more.
Despite the hemorrhaging and unresolved systemic problems wrought by grandfathered business models, policy and external interventions, all signs point to peak levels of news consumption.
“Canadian journalism, especially during the pandemic, doesn’t have a readership problem,” says Jolly. “It’s about fixing the business model to ensure that communities have access to the news they need.”
StatsCan data on where the public is going for its Covid-19 information shows 51.3 percent are relying on traditional media, trailed by the 12 percent who get their updates primarily from provincial announcements and 11.2 percent from public health agencies. A Comscore report from March shows “an explosion on engagement with news and information sites.”
Analysts have long predicted the bottom will fall out. While we’re rapidly approaching that event, the pandemic has accelerated the rate of demise.
So far the majority of the layoffs — announced by 78 different organizations and include both editorial and non-editorial staff — are being framed as temporary, as well as some of the print reductions. But with so many unknowns surrounding the potential of local advertising revenue to bounce back, hyperlocal coverage has a high hill to climb.
Even as the pandemic unfolds in spring 2020, the Canadian government is still working through years-long plans to improve broadband access in rural communities.
Covid-19 lockdowns have amplified some conversations around internet access as a human right, as workers lucky enough to be able to translate their office lives to home adjust to new realities.
But poor internet access has long been a wrench in news shifts to digital-only, both for residents’ access to information and publishers’ abilities to reform their own business models.
“I think there were some real questions about whether these publications will ever reopen or go back to having the printed editions,” says Lindgren. “It’s not like this is going to end abruptly on a particular date and all the advertising is going to flow back to community newspapers…they rely on that advertising by the local bar, by the local furniture shop, by local businesses, and local businesses are only going to slowly come back to life and even then maybe not have much of a budget.”
An April 3 report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses indicates that 32 percent of businesses surveyed aren’t sure they’ll be able to reopen.
“We’re not talking about a short term pain here for a lot of these news organizations,” says Lindgren.