www.RuralCouncil.ca interviews Doug Clark, Editor of the Free Press Advocate

August 14, 2004

“Free Press Advocate” readying
to go to press

…subscribe now to assure availability of your copy.

This week, the RuralCouncil.ca interviewed Doug Clark, editor of the much anticipated investigative journal, The Free Press Advocate, set to launch in early September.

“This paper will be unique,” Clark said, explaining that it will report what the mainstream media will not and the community press cannot. “For the first time, people are going to be told what’s truly being done for and to them at city hall and Queen’s Park. It’s the same lament in every amalgamated centre I’ve contacted – taxes up, services down and no one will tell them where the money went. We will. Then we'll check up on the Feds if we have the time.”

With a network of writers and journalists in place across Ontario, in Quebec and even an L.A. correspondent to report on what’s happening in amalgamated America, Clark has text, photos and support flowing in. He’s expecting that to grow after the first edition hits the streets.

“Anyone who worried that I wouldn’t find enough to write about can relax,” he said. “I’ve already got more than enough for the first edition and there’s still a few weeks to get more.”

What Clark does need is subscribers, advertisers and a few good friends if he’s to succeed in expanding circulation and frequency. He expects The Free Press Advocate to publish monthly until the end of the year, but hopes to double that output in the new year and hopes to come out weekly. He’s promising that anyone who pays the $50 to subscribe will have that price honoured throughout 2005, no matter how frequently he publishes. The same offer applies to advertisers.

“I’m not going to forget those who helped me get this off the ground,” Clark said. “They’re the ones who did something to revive the voice and informed consent we lost, if not to amalgamation, then certainly to the politicians and their senior managers unable or unwilling to make it work.”

“Divide and conquer will no longer work...

We will report on events and abuses as we find them, alternately informing and amusing our readers. The Free Press Advocate exists for anyone who felt too helpless to fight back or just didn’t know how best to do it.”

- Doug Clark, Editor of The Free Press Advocate



Clark says there is strength in numbers and his newspaper will, literally, put tens of thousands of readers on the same page at the same time, predicting, "We'll grow from there."

“Divide and conquer will no longer work,” he said. “For the first time, everyone who feels lost, alienated, ignored, abused, cheated or denied their sense of community, their chosen lifestyle and their rights will have one voice and one forum to express their discontent through their letters and accounts. At the same time, we will report on events and abuses as we find them, alternately informing and amusing our readers. The Free Press Advocate exists for anyone who felt too helpless to fight back or just didn’t know how best to do it. Anyone can play. The more the merrier.”

Political dissident Abbie Hoffman said:

“Democracy is not something you believe in or a place to hang your hat, but it's something you do. You participate. If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles.”

Clark hurls a more succinct rallying cry, grinning: “Up the rebels!”

“This isn’t just a rural battle,” he concludes. “We’re just the first to fight back. But the issues affecting us also affect suburbia and urban residents from Nepean to Chatham, from Ancaster to Sudbury and far, far beyond. We need to remind them that what affects us will impact on them, that we’re all in this together and that none of this mess stops at a politically contrived ward boundary or city limit. Simply reporting abuses and wastage is often the best way to curb, then eliminate them. Until then, every amalgamated centre is bogged in the same political quagmire. Media convergence made it worse as journalists were silenced by corporate interests with apparent political alliances at the highest levels. I find it distasteful to accept the only alternatives, which would seem to be that so many working journalists are stupid, lazy or bought off.”

So what prompted Clark to lead this grassroots charge? He says he believes that good people doing nothing is more dangerous than even the most blatant abuses by power-mad autocrats and that he felt compelled to act after asking himself the same poignant questions that helped propel and sustain the American Civil Rights movement: “If not me, who? If not now, when?”

What can we do?

The Rural Council suggests we should all support this fresh, clear ‘democratic voice’ …for our own good, now, and for the sake of our children. With the first press run being distributed through community associations across Ontario, and possibly into Quebec, demand is guaranteed to exceed supply, most likely for the foreseeable future.

"We agree with Clark that you can fight city hall; that one person can make a difference. If you are unhappy with the treatment you are receiving from local and provincial governments, if you feel the media is ignoring or burying information that is vital to having a voice and an ability to make informed consent, you should subscribe to The Free Press Advocate."  -The Rural Council of Ottawa

Cost of one-year subscription:  $50.00

Please forward your cheque, made out to “Doug Clark in Trust” to P.O. Box 328 North Gower K0A 2T0.

For ad rates, to suggest/submit story/photo ideas or to learn how your association can ensure receiving 2,000 copies to distribute where you feel they will do the most good, contact him at doug.clark@sympatico.ca or telephone: 613-489-2795.



  • Background Information: Link to July 12, 2004 - PRESS RELEASE, where the Rural Council announced its support for The Free Press Advocate.

  • For a sneak peak at The Free Press Advocate (under construction) website: