7 News Archive
The Clarion: Toronto's new community paper

by Tom Corbett
Seven News, Nov. 6, 1976

On October 15 [1976], ten pennies were useful for another purpose besides stuffing your piggy bank or wool sock.

That date marked the appearance of a long forgotten commodity, the 10-cent newspaper. The Toronto Clarion differs from other Toronto papers in more ways than just price.

Karolyn Kendrick, news editor of the paper, said, “Our paper gives readers in Metropolitan Toronto the news they’re not getting in the present commercial media.”

Ms. Kendrick pointed out while other publications rely on mainly official sources, such as governments, for information, the Clarion will go after the real news makers, the people themselves.

This grassroots approach will “find out how ordinary people deal with the problems and concerns that influence their lives.”

In taking this approach, Ms. Kendrick said the Toronto Clarion will give an insight into news the three major dailies in the city either gloss over, distort or completely ignore.

At the same time the paper will not support any particular political philosophy, but as a first priority give “reliable news coverage that eschews political rhetoric.”

In its coverage, the publication will concentrate on Metropolitan Toronto events and include reports on provincial, national and international news plus sports and entertainment.

Its circulation will be metro wide with distribution being handled by mail, store sales, street boxes as well as a fast disappearing method – human vendors. Its frequency of publication will initially be bi-weekly with plans to go to a weekly paper next year.

The ownership of the Toronto Clarion also possesses a uniqueness found in few serious publications.

When the organization of the newspaper began in May of this year, it was decided to implement a co-operative approach to organization.

As Ms. Kendrick points out, “anyone who works on the paper will be eligible for staff membership.”

It is the members, with one vote each, who will oversee the decisions and day-to-day operation of the publication.

In keeping with the co-operative structure, various committees meet regularly to discuss the various departments of the newspaper, with over 100 different people being involved in one capacity or another. Many of them have experience in different areas of journalism.

Anyone interested in more information on The Toronto Clarion, or wishing to subscribe, should contact them at 454 King Street West, Suite 209. Their phone number is 363-4404.

Published in Seven News – Volume 7, Number 10 – November 6, 1976

Related Topics:
Community Newspapers