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COLUMN: Clearing up media misconceptions

Considering the curiosity many of our readers seem to have about local news publishers, I figured it would be worthwhile to write a column that clears up some questions and misconceptions people may have about the news/publishing landscape in Airdrie and Rocky View County. 
opinion

I often get asked questions by people about my company and the media business when I'm out covering events.

Considering the curiosity many of our readers seem to have about local news publishers, I figured it would be worthwhile to write a column that clears up some questions and misconceptions people may have about the news/publishing landscape in Airdrie and Rocky View County. 

First and foremost, if you're reading this in print, you obviously know that our newspaper is called the Airdrie City View. That being said, if you're reading this column online, you'll know our online website is called AirdrieToday.com.

We're a division of Great West Media, which publishes a range of weekly newspapers in Alberta's small-to-medium-sized markets. If you come across a news website with the name of an Alberta town followed by 'Today' – for instance, CochraneToday, OkotoksToday, StAlbertToday, etc. – it's almost certainly a division of Great West Media. 

While the content is virtually the same in both our weekly newspaper and on our website, there are a few key differences. First, AirdrieToday publishes a lot more stories than can fit into our newspaper. That's because our website also publishes coverage from Great West Media's other newsrooms. For example, if OkotoksToday puts out a big news story, it will likely be published across all Great West Media websites, including ours. However, its headline will include the phrase 'Beyond Local:' at the beginning, to show readers it's not a story that was produced by our newsroom's reporters.

Our website also publishes content we get from the Canadian Press, which is a national news agency that provides general news coverage across the country. Most Canadian newspapers pay for the rights to re-publish CP stories, either online or in print. We were once accused by a Facebook commenter of copy-and-pasting a Toronto Star story and posting it to our website. What actually happened was it was a CP story that both we and the Toronto Star posted.

Making matters a little more complex is that our Airdrie newsroom also puts together and publishes the Rocky View Weekly. It looks like and has a similar layout to the Airdrie City View, but the stories inside its pages are different. While there is occasionally some carry-over between our two papers, the City View is focused exclusively on covering news and events in Airdrie, while the Rocky View Weekly is devoted more so to covering Rocky View County and the various municipalities, hamlets, and acreages within its borders – Bragg Creek, Langdon, Springbank, Crossfield, Beiseker, etc. Stories published in the Weekly are published online at AirdrieToday.com in a special section devoted to county coverage. 

Quite often, our sister paper in Cochrane – the Cochrane Eagle (CochraneToday online) – shares and contributes County-related coverage to the Rocky View Weekly as well, as the wide-spanning geography of Rocky View County encompasses both newsroom's coverage areas. 

I hope that helps clear up any confusion!


Scott Strasser

About the Author: Scott Strasser

Scott Strasser, editor
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