This was the front page of the free commuter newspaper Halifax Metro today. Looking at it quickly, it might appear as if Metro‘s front page editors were making some editorial judgements about the winners and losers in the first debate of the Nova Scotia general election campaign, held yesterday evening at the CBC Halifax studios. The lead headline is “Dexter in tune with today’s families” while the sub-heads with Liberal leader Stephen McNeil reads “McNeil disappoints on jobs, health care” and with PC Leader Jamie Baillie, “Baillie dodges disastrous record.”
Of course, the editors of Metro (likely) had nothing to do with this. This was — as the fine print (see below) — says, a “Paid Advertisement” and it’s not the first time that a commuter paper has sold its front page in the middle of an election campaign. Most recently, Christy Clark’s BC Liberals bought the front page of Vancouver 24 Hours to pronounce her the “Comeback Kid” in a faux-news style after a debate there. (Turns out the ad was right) And in the 2011, the federal New Democrats put a smiling Jack Layton on a faux-front page of the Toronto Metro.
Not sure about the Toronto Metro situation but both the sale of the front pages of the Vancouver 24 Hours and Metro Halifax — likely for several thousand dollars each — had lots of folks tut-tutting away.
@davidakin how do you maintain editorial integrity after that?
— Richie Roby (@RichieRoby) September 11, 2013
— Bruce Cheadle (@BCheadle) September 11, 2013
The subject of the ad, however, says good for Metro for making “a great tool” available to an advertiser, his party. Here’s Premier Dexter — who holds a journalism degree, I might add — speaking to colleague Kris Sims in Kentville, Nova Scotia this morning.