August 14, 2004
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.”
and conquer will no longer work...
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.”
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,
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
“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,
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
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
or telephone: 613-489-2795.
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: