By Robert Tuomi
(WINDSOR, ON) – The new kid on the block has delivered what could be a destabilizing blow to the big guy in the neighbourhood. It could be the game changer that some in the rose city have been waiting and hoping for for some time.
By now, even people living in a van down by the river know about the disgraced Al Maghnieh and his escapades with a Windsor Library credit card. The escapades are not the real issue here it is the cover-up in which Maghnieh himself seemed to be guided by former and disgraced US President Richard Nixon and his infamous Watergate affair.
The Maghnieh story is, sadly, old news. The real story is that the upstart Windsor This Week, the newest entrant in the local media wars, was first to have its editor write an editorial calling on Maghnieh to immediately resign under the boldest headline on the page, reading “Al has got to go.”
There is was on Thursday April 26, 2012. All that the heavyweight daily newspaper could do is file a belated column with a similar message two days latter. The big guy was beaten to the punch by the weekly. How could that ever happen?
Well, it might be the DNA of This Week. It is published by Sun Media and has is another child of an unlikely bank of displaced journalists who, when their Toronto paper known as the Telegram closed, oh so many years ago, banded together to create the Toronto Sun.
It was an instant success and some said it succeeded because of all the people who use the Toronto subway needed a snappy little paper to fit them with the day’s news. Then it expanded into places like Edmonton and Calgary and everyone and his uncle, at least those who knew such things, claimed it was doomed given that at the time both cities had yet to push the start button on their rapid transit systems. But, the offshoots too succeeded.
In Edmonton the newly arrived Sun was bolstered by a quirky exceptional story-telling journalist named Paul Rimstead. He had the unique ability to turn even a visit by him to a dry and dull event into a must read and allowed the paper to take on the Edmonton Journal, a sister paper to the Windsor Star. Today some 35 years later the Sun’s masthead still graces the paper boxes in the Alberta capital, so it must be doing the right thing. Oh, the Journal, where the writer himself has been a contributor, its still there too.
With such a heritage behind it, will This Week become the little paper that can and will it cause the retooling of the local newspaper market? Already its pages are home to a lot of advertisements surrounded by news that rarely graces the covers of its larger daily competitor. But, probably, to some, it’s most refreshing aspect is that it does not appear to have any sycophantic journalists hiding among its pages.
Possibly because its roots are in solid journalistic soil it has a tradition to keep up. That even includes having a version of the Sunshine girl that made its Toronto publication quite famous.
In This Week you will find the Boom Boom Room girl put there with confidence in the new paper by the Boom Boom Room itself.
Possibly, if this little paper that is chock-a-block with news is the spark that redefines journalism in Windsor it might well be the best thing that has happened to news hounds and regular folk alike.
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