Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.
The new owners of RedPoint Media Group strongly believe in the importance of producing content that resonates with local readers.
“Our industry has always been in transition, and while print media — newspaper, magazines — are facing challenges, the ability to tell local stories by local writers has never been more relevant,” says Käthe Lemon, who partnered with Roger Jewett to buy RedPoint in February.
“We wanted ownership to remain in Calgary,” Jewett says of RedPoint, a formerly family-owned company where he served as chief financial officer. “We didn’t want to see it sold to a national entity.”
RedPoint, which publishes Avenue magazine and numerous custom publications, added more local flavour to its lineup with the purchase of arts tabloid The Scene on April 3.
Producing local content connecting Calgarians to their communities is more vital than ever in the era of ‘fake news,’ says Lemon, long-time editor of Avenue before becoming RedPoint’s president a year and a half ago.
“Especially after the pandemic, people are looking to reconnect meaningfully with the community via trusted sources.”
What’s more, great storytelling never goes out of style. And so, while artificial intelligence can now write articles in seconds, it lacks the human touch.
“Is there a way for AI to create content that doesn’t feel lifeless?” Jewett asks, adding that RedPoint is carefully researching the technology as an aid for its writers and editors. “We plan to introduce new ways for Calgarians to connect with our content, but AI does not yet deliver the quality of writing Calgarians expect from our publications,” he notes.
Still, if RedPoint is anything, it’s innovative and does not shy away from embracing new technology and ideas to push print and digital media’s boundaries.
Lemon points to how Avenue has long focused on creating new experiences for readers, including events-based storytelling such as tasting parties attached to its annual Calgary’s Best Restaurants edition.
“After all, it’s much better to taste the food than to just read about it.”
Expect RedPoint to be at the vanguard of local coverage, as well as helping businesses and organizations such as the Alberta Cancer Foundation to get their messages out.
Change aside, RedPoint’s North Star will never waver.
“We write local stories with heart,” Lemon says. “And we’re very optimistic that good storytelling is increasingly needed in our communities.”
This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.