Webster charts course for 2003

The Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA) needs to extend its communications and rebuild its financial resources.

That was the message of incoming CCNA President Joyce Webster, Coronation (AB) Review, to delegates at the CCNA Presidents Banquet in Vancouver, B.C. The Banquet was part of the joint CCNA/British Columbia and Yukon Community Newspapers Association conference from May 29-31.

Webster took over from outgoing President Jim Cumming. “Each year, we look to raise the bar for CCNA to make our association more valuable to all our members whether small independents, or part of large corporate chains,” said Cumming. “This year has been a year of achievement.”

Webster said that CCNA must broaden its communications to not only members, but to other industry stakeholders.

“Over the next four or five months we, as an association, will develop additional communications strategies so that internally, we all project to our external customers the potential and value of community newspapers,” Webster told delegates. “We have six entities to build into an internal and external communications program: Verified Circulation, Community Media Canada, ComBase, the Better Newspapers Competition, hopefully a Young Community Builders Program and The Publisher. Those six entities together carry a powerful message and we need to broaden our communication scope to include more audiences.

“IÔÇÖm happy to say, some of these initiatives are already in progress,” she said.

Webster said that one of CCNAÔÇÖs major challenges continues to be financial. “Over the years, CCNA has built significant value in goodwill from the work it has accomplished, and continues to accomplish,” she said. “Now, we will turn to stabilizing our financial health in order to maintain value for our members.”

Webster also mentioned a variety of areas CCNA will stay on top of during her presidency, including Canada Post, Heritage Canada, media ownership, harmonized membership criteria and the needs of corporate CCNA members versus the needs of independents.

“Someone once said, ÔÇÿDare to soar; your attitude, almost always, determines your altitude in life,ÔÇÖ” said Webster. “CCNA and its members have ÔÇÿdared to soar,ÔÇÖ and to continue ÔǪ we will.”