MONDAY'S LETTERS: 'Journal de Quebec' Lockout, Tenet, PETA

By: E&P Staff In today's letters, a reader calls for more civil discourse in the media, another says that George Tenet's interview on 60 minutes left more questions unanswered, and some thoughts on the lockout at the Journal de Qu?bec.


Verbiage Flawed

I would like to see a return to more civil words to describe the actions of our civil society.

In this era of global unrest we read frequently about terrorist attacks, school shootings, military maneuvers, and other violent actions.

Increasingly I find that politics is being reported with the same words. Politicians "attack" each other. Sometimes the attacks are "vicious". Politicians are said to "slam" each other like wrestlers.

At times I have seen adjacent headlines which use the same words to describe a brutal terrorist attack by a suicide bomber at a market in Baghdad and the stern words exchanged at a political debate.

Perhaps this is something Editor and Publisher could push as we enter the next presidential election cycle.

Fletcher Sandbeck


PETA Unnecessary?

I wonder if PETA refers to the people its members have hurt in their many protests with pronouns. Somehow, I don't think so! People and our children become attached to animals without PETA's interference. We like animals for the most part and often "love" our pets. PETA is unnecessary and exists only because it collects money from uninformed people. Much like government funded "research", the results from PETA are of no value to society.

Doug Denehie


Tenet's Tortured Interview

I just watched the 60 Minutes interview with George Tenet; he said there were only four people in the room when he said "Slam Dunk" about building a case for Iraq. The people in the room were [President Bush], [Vice President Cheney], [Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice -- then National Security Advisor], and [then-White House Chief of Staff
Andrew Card]; after the meeting someone leaked to a reporter what Tenet said among the five. Who was the person that repeated the lie first? It was Cheney that repeated the lie? It may not have been Cheney that leaked it yet there is a 25% chance that he did. Is this picture getting any clearer?

Jesse Hemingway


Journal de Qu?bec Lockout

I am a desk editor for Le Journal de Qu?bec and was delighted to read about our story in your paper.

You would not believe the support we have had, locally, for our initiative. Imagine, the biggest advertizer of Le Journal, Ameublements Tanguay, a furniture chain stores, has withdrawn its advertising for as long as the conflict will last. Other announcers are doing the same. The official reason: they don't want to see their name associated with controversy. Other reasons, be not the least: LeJournal's quality has dropped considerably now that we are out of work; also, local merchants don't like what Sun Media is doing with Le Journal: cutting good jobs to outsource in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, while still taking their money. There's an other point, very sensible here: local news are diminishing with cuts, replaced by news from Montreal, which is seen as very irritating for a closely knitted city like Quebec. This tendency is seen as "Montrealisation" and could backfire with considerable damage on Sun Media.

We are publishing are newspaper, MediaMatin Qu?bec, with very limited means but the paper is very well received by the locals. We have 24 pages, full process, 5 days a week. Our circulation is 40 000 for now and we have a team of workers distributing them every morning for free in the streets of Quebec. For the moment we have no publicity, although we get many calls every day from announcers willing to give us a try. So far, we restrain ourselves to go commercial -- after all, we don't want to destroy Le Journal, but just try to pressure the company to negotiate in full faith.

By the way, Sun Media tried to block the publication Thursday, but lost its initial try Thursday. We will be back in court May 4 for the same cause, this time to permanently stop the publication.

I though that, being in the same profession, you would be interested with this little inside.

Marc Fortier

I was a little bit shocked by reading your article Locked-Out 'Journal de Qu?bec' Workers Start Free Paper

I thought that a serious edition would have made a none less serious investigation about the facts before publishing.

You can easily check with the Union, maybe you can have a copy of the convention between the newspaper and the workers.

A desk editor is paid C$88 000, not 100 400, and a journalist C$70 600. These numbers are for a worker at the top of the scale. For beginners, divide by two. For an average of the workers, take off 30%.

These numbers are also fare less than the salaries of the Montr?al's newspaper La Presse and Le Journal de Montr?al.

In the same way, is it possible for you to give me the average conditions of editors in a daily newspaper in United States (salary and hours worked?)

Martin Lavoie


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