Publisher's Letter: Sources
Change is in the air, outside and inside the media. This edition
of Sources reflects some of that change.
In spite of continuing merger mania, the number of organizations
listed in this edition again is more than in the last. Newly-merged
companies must make their new identities and mandates known. And
a host of small but important organizations - in the fields of education,
environment, faith, health, politics, social services, sports, technology
and more - must make their voices heard to and through the media.
The sheer variety of their worthy causes never ceases to amaze me.
Underlying shifts continue. The structural reinforcement of women's
greater role is suggested in this edition by the inclusion of the
Ontario Women's Directorate, Canadian Women in Communication and
Canadian Federal of Business and Professional Women. The growing
role of aboriginal Canadians is suggested in the Aboriginal Business
Association, Indian Claims Commission and First Nations Breast Cancer
Association. The redrawing of municipal boundaries and structures
is suggested by the inclusion of the cities of London, Thompson
and Toronto (as well as Toronto's Economic Development Commission).
Attending an international media conference in Athens reminded
me of the fact that Sources is, in fact, outstanding
in the world. Representatives from Egypt, Israel, South Africa,
Turkey, Germany, Yugoslavia, Haiti and Finland rubbed shoulders
with others from the USA, Greece, India and the Netherlands. Journalists
in most of those countries do not enjoy an equivalent of Sources.
The respect earned by this publication at age 21 is reflected in
part in the renewal rate: within decimal points of 80 per cent.
These renewers do not include dozens of organizations formerly listed
who have returned to these pages and to our Internet site (www.sources.com).
Behind the scenes, Sources staff members have their
hands full updating and maintaining our distribution lists. Another
flock of specialty cable companies is on the horizon, radio and
TV outlets are planning new programs, a new national daily in the
works and significant changes are taking place at many of the larger
and some of the smaller dailies. The magazine field, too, is in
transition. Everywhere is change.
Change is the stuff of news. So in a sense journalists have a vested
interest in change. But it seems to me the job of journalists is
not to glorify change for the sake of a good story, nor buy into
the mantra that all change is inevitable and resistance is futile.
It seems to me the job of journalists is to anticipate changes earlier,
understand them better, explain them more. The question "Who
benefits?" needs to be asked repeatedly.
Some changes deserve encouragement, others resistance. The people
in the organizations listed in Sources can help journalists
anticipate and understand changes from the laboratory to the farm
to the boardroom.
May the changes you personally encounter be challenging, fruitful
and not all at once.
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