Speaking Of Postmedia…

1.) The guy (of course it’s a guy — Postmedia’s executive team is all-male) ultimately in charge of the Leader-Post and StarPhoenix works under the title president National Post and executive vice president eastern Canada. Yup, Saskatchewan is an eastern Canadian market. Who knew?

2.) Scroll to the bottom of any page and look at the clocks showing the time in some of the Canadian cities the corporation has newspapers. They have the wrong time for Regina. It’s an hour slow. And Saskatoon isn’t there at all.

Postmedia obviously devotes a lot of thought to its Saskatchewan products. Which is what the Leader-Post and The StarPhoenix apparently are to Postmedia’s head office. Products.

I prefer newspapers.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth will never, ever pass up a chance to make a Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo pun.

11 thoughts on “Speaking Of Postmedia…”

  1. The “of course it’s a guy” goes for Prairie Dog, too, right? The five names listed on Prairie Dog’s contact page/masthead are all male. The only woman listed (Jan, The Magazine Network) is actually an employee of a different company based outside of Saskatchewan. In any case, so what?

  2. Mike, I’m so glad you posted this snappy observation. Frankly I was really worried that no one (i.e. no man) would write something along the lines of “but prairie dog, not many ladies eh?, HA! You’re as bad as Postmedia! HYPOCRITES!”, and etc.

    Thanks for stepping up, Mike. It’s good to have you.

    Now, obviously it’s reasonable to compare the equity records of Postmedia (a multi-million dollar corporation with absurd resources and incredible power to affect real change) and prairie dog (break-even-if-lucky Sask small business with 6.5 employees total, if we count Planet S in Saskatoon).

    But before I get into prairie dog’s many problems and failings, first: the “so what” (or “big deal” if you prefer) is this: it’s appalling that any corporation with the resources of Postmedia wouldn’t put more effort into finding/grooming top female executives, especially when equity is such a problem in corporate Canada. Postmedia’s far from the only white dude-dominated corporate board in Canada, right? That’s the norm. And it’s ridiculous (actually, evil) that half our country’s population is female but a miniscule percentage (zero per cent in this particular huge company) of our highest-paid executives are women.*

    So yeah, I’d say that’s a big deal.

    And it’s probably bad from a purely business perspective, too: lack of diversity on a company’s executive team probably tends to promote narrow viewpoints and dumbass groupthink. A team made up of all white dudes, middle-aged or older, is going to be more stupidly homogeneous in its opinions and perceptions than a diverse board whose members vary in age, race and of course gender.

    (And since Postmedia’s profits , not to mention circulation**, are declining, someone there might want to think seriously about recruiting executives from outside the usual circle-jerking circles.)

    Now back to PD’s hypocrisy, which I realize you’re deeply concerned about.

    You’re right, Mike: prairie dog needs to do a better job with our gender ratio. For one thing, ideally we’d have 50ish per cent of our stories written by women. The gender breakdown on our blog posts is gruesome, too. Even worse: our four-person board of directors (made up of current owners) is all male, too.

    Tell you what, Mike: we’ll have this all fixed by the time we hit a couple hundred million in annual profits. How’s that sound?

    Or you know what? Maybe even before that.

    Oh, and also prairie dog will always know what time it is in Regina. Unlike the company that owns the Leader-Post. Because we live here.

    Thanks for the comment, Mike!

    *Fact not verified but true.
    **Yes, inevitable to some extent thanks to the Internet. Then again, we haven’t seen a decline in our print readership.

  3. Yeah, yeah. They’re bigger and richer so they should set the example — don’t put that responsibility on little ol’me…I’m just one person/small Regina-based company! Who WILL make the effort, then? Shouldn’t it be the progressive company showing the corporate giant how it’s done? Why put the onus on companies who likely have no interest in the issue?

    Snide comment aside, a quick googling of Postmedia papers shows the company has a significant number of women in managing/executive/EIC/deputy editor positions. Not that those positions are the toppity top of Postmedia toppness. But the number is better, I’m sure, than three, two, maybe even one decade ago. As long as I’ve been reading Prairie Dog and Planet S (PS since the beginning, PD since you got a website), it’s been men on the editorial masthead. You’re move, penis wielder.

    But enough about Postmedia. I’m not here to defend a crumbling company. My original comment of “so what” was written to simply point out that quality or authority doesn’t derive from a simple gender balance (or ethnic balance or height balance or eye colour balance). Would having a female voice on a corporate board help? Sure, because that particular person is talented, not just because she has a vagina. That’s almost insulting, is it not — the token vagina? There are plenty of talented women in the corporate world, and more are rising through the ranks every year. Maybe they had the smarts to stay away from Postmedia?

    http://www.calgaryherald.com/about-calgary-herald/key_contacts.html

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/about-edmonton-journal/contactus.html

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/about-montreal-gazette/contactus.html

    http://www.vancouversun.com/about-vancouver-sun/editorial.html

  4. Ah, the old “what’s good for the goose isn’t comparable to what’s good for the gander” argument.

    You don’t need money to walk the walk, Steve. Practicing what you preach is free! Any business regardless of size flexes its resources, even if they are meager, to fill desired positions.

  5. Jeremy: Of course money helps. You can hire more female employees. Duh.

    Mike, Mike, Mike: If Spider-Man taught us anything it’s that with great power comes great responsibility. Prairie dog does what we can with what we’ve got. Postmedia has far more ability to affect change–like for instance, making a commitment to getting a couple of women on their all-male, six-man executive team sometime this century, and perhaps more than one woman on their 10-person board of directors.

    If they did that, maybe the chain wouldn’t run editorials endorsing anti-woman candidates like Stephen “killed national daycare” Harper for prime minister.

    Also, they should fix their damn Regina clock.

  6. Mike, what is the PDog supposed to do? Force females to join their “executive team”? I have my doubts the PDog tries to keep them out as much as I doubt there are women trying to fight their way in, unlike in a big corporate entity like PostMedia with opportunity. The PDog’s a small business, of course it has different expectations. Your argument is like saying a one-room, remote schoolhouse can’t criticize a university for not hiring academics from Africa because it has no instructors of African origin either.

    As for the L-P, it actually has improved and the fact they added Greg Gingas as a columnist has rocked my world. Never, ever in the previous 15 years did they allow the most remote of progressive viewpoints in that thing. As for the clock and regional thing, that’s just Yahoo-level administration.

  7. At the risk of extending this further, TFJ, I’ll clarify that I didn’t ask PD to do away with its criticism of larger or different companies — my comments simply implied that if you’re going to make a snotty comment about a competitor, make sure you blow your own nose first.

  8. Er…and the PD copyright notice in the website footer still reads © 2009. Speaking of time accuracy.

  9. The journalism in the L-P still lacks integrity, as it does most of the time now, since reporters became frightened to delve into analysis backed up by objective fact, but the local bulletins have increased and that’s nice to see.

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