Burlington Gazette to be part of major academic study about on-line publications.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

February 4, 2015


An email from a colleague said he was going to be in town – and could he buy me lunch.

The immediate answer was – of course you can buy me lunch – the follow up question was: What did he want?
James McLean, holder of a PhD in communications studies currently on a Sabbatical from Concordia University in Montreal, is working on his next book: Minority Media and the Journalistic Entrepreneur.

Lunch was relaxed; two old time media types swapping tales and working at impressing each other. I noticed there was a grey file folder on the table we occupied at Spencer’s on the Waterfront; it wasn’t very thick.


Academic wants the views and thoughts of an on-line publisher. Does he have any idea what he is getting into?

Dr. McLean wants to include the Burlington Gazette as one of four or five on-line publications he will be researching. He is using on-line sites in both Canada and the United States doing in depth interviews a couple of times a year during which he certainly took us to task on some of the approaches we used. He also digs into the analytics and who our readers are; what they read, how long they stay on line and some detail on the demographics of our readers.

The waiter asked if we wanted our beverage glasses re-filled – McLean was picking up the tab so my answer was a quick yes – but I wanted to know what was in the file folder. McLean opened it up – he had a release he wanted me to sign giving him permission to use quotes from me in his book and to refer to some of our data.

The waiter was serving 9 oz. glasses of a very nice California Chardonnay so I of course said yes, reached for my pen and signed on the dotted line.

No publication date yet – but when the book does come out we will do what we can to get Dr. McLean back into the city; perhaps he can be a guest speaker at those Insight Burlington events the Mayor used to hold.

Heck – a book about Burlington’s on line media will help us keep that title of the Best Mid-Sized city in Canada. That should help – shouldn’t it?

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3 comments to Burlington Gazette to be part of major academic study about on-line publications.

  • mlh

    You deserve the attention Pepper.

    You’ve (almost!) single-handedly provided Burlington with a voice and ear that actually hears ‘us’. Keep at it!

    I look forward, too, to our boozy lunch, soon …. 😉

  • Zaffi

    Kudos to you and The Burlington Gazette. Looking forward to reading the book.

  • Joan Bell

    You deserve the recognition because of the updates you share with us. Particularly what is what at city hall.
    Where else would we learn about this? Put my name down for a book please?