Hi everyone, welcome to our live coverage of the CJF Forum with John Paton, "Digital First. Print Last."
The forum will be starting in about 20 minutes.
So, how tonight will work: Paton will talk about his digital first strategy for about 20 minutes. After that, Douglas Knight, president of St. Joseph Media, will talk with Paton further about this strategy. The forum will conclude with a question and answer period with the audience here at the TMX Broadcast Centre.
For those following along online, you can also ask questions tagged with the hashtag #cjfforum. CJF staff here will be following that feed and picking questions from it to ask Paton.
For those unfamiliar, the title of this event totally gives away John Paton's strategy: "Digital First, Print Last."
Paton is a 36-year newspaper veteran, so he's not disrespecting the medium by any means. He started in the 70s as a copy boy for the Toronto Sun before becoming its police reporter. He went on to lead major media organizations such as Sun Media, and was instrumental in its sale to Quebecor over a decade ago.
He is the founder of impreMedia, the largest news and information company for Hispanics in the United States. In April 2009, he was named Publisher of the Year by Editor and Publisher for his accomplishments with impreMedia.
Paton's current role is that of CEO of Digital First Media -- a media company that owns both the Journal Register Company and MediaNews Group. Together, those compose more than 800 digital and print products in 18 states serving 57 million customers -- meaning, readers, unique visitors and mobile perusers.
Correction: Digital First operates the other two media companies.
Our associate editor, Belinda Alzner, got to sit down with Paton today ahead of the event and pick his brain on all things digital. Check out her exclusive interview.
Bob Lewis, chair of the Canadian Journalism Foundation is starting things off.
"All bets are off" when it comes to Doug Knight's questioning of Paton tonight.
Said tongue in cheek -- at least in part. Knight and Paton are former partners in journalism.
"John is not unfamiliar with either taking punches, or throwing them," says Doug Knight. #cjfforum
"I'm old media," says John Paton, after Knight's introduction that outlined Paton's illustrious career.
Paton's first day at the Toronto Sun was with a whole lotta drunk -- he got the job for taking a photo of a drunk columnist, got the job of someone who was fired for being drunk (not the columnist!), and his first night on the job, took his editor home dead drunk.
Paton says conferences that declare print is still alive are akin to aging actresses in Stratford that claim they can still play Juliette. #cjfforum
Counting jobs lost in newspapers is no longer possible. However, this isn't the case in Canada -- yet.
Let's debunk some myths! Number one: "Print is coming back."
In the United States, more customers access their news on the web rather than in print.
Paton says its hard to acknowledge we need change and to embrace things inherent to new media.
re: papers "If the old model is broken, what will work in its place?" The answer is nothing. You start again new -- you rebuild. #cjfforum
We (journalists) are no longer the gatekeepers of information. #cjfforum
Clearly journalism is not without value, but how its practiced in print today -- "he said last night" journalism -- nearly is valueless. #cjfforum
We need to be the messengers that communities can trust.