The usual author of Net News, Canadian Mining Journal's weekly Internet news service, is Marilyn Scales whose other...


The usual author of Net News, Canadian Mining Journal's weekly Internet news service, is Marilyn Scales whose other hat is as field editor of CMJ. Marilyn is on holiday this week, so I am doing a guest spot as writer. I will use the column to give you a behind-the-scenes peak at what's happening at Canada's oldest mining publication.

This year we celebrate 125 years of publishing Canadian Mining Journal. It started off as a small newsletter named Canadian Mining Review in Ottawa in 1879. By the late 1880s it had become an established weekly mining newspaper under the leadership of editor B.T.A. Bell, who went a long way toward making the mining industry in Canada both professional and legitimate.

Fast-forward to 2004. What are we today? CMJ is a bimonthly trade magazine sent to 10,000 readers, mainly in Canada and mainly in operations, management and executive positions in mining companies and institutions. We are part of the 20-person Mining Group within the Business Information Group, a division of the currently-beleaguered Hollinger empire. Other publications in the mining group are The Northern Miner newspaper (established in 1915), the Canadian Mines Handbook (1931) and the CMJ Mining Sourcebook (1892). Time is on our side.

But are we getting creaky? Well, some mornings I am. Creakier than me is Brian Warriner, senior advertising sales representative on The Northern Miner, who celebrates his 34th anniversary with the newspaper today, March 17. Marilyn Scales is next in line, with 28 years of service on CMJ. She started when the magazine was published out of Montreal, as Marilyn Pabst, with a BA in Art and no knowledge of mining. She has come a long way. Pat Robarts is secretary to the mining group, and joined The Northern Miner 26 years ago on March 20th. The rest of us are relative new-comers.

What the staff has is a thorough knowledge of the exploration and mining industry based on the technical backgrounds of many, as well as research and experience gained over the years through site visits, and talking and corresponding with the clients/subscribers. Although we are essentially publishers of information, I think most of the staff feel more kinship with people who work in mining and exploration than with publishing types.

As information purveyors we can't afford to act our age. Long-time CMJ readers have probably noticed regular revampings of the magazine: the layout, the logo, the content, even the colour schemes. Our art director David Young is a professional artist who makes sure we have a contemporary and edgy look because, after all, the main difference between a magazine and an old newspaper is in the design and appearance.

In the information business, this is the electronic age. The Northern Miner went electronic first, launching its web site ( in 1994, and expanding to include daily news in 1999. CMJ launched its own web site ( in 2000, and starting providing weekly Net News on the site in September 2002. This was enhanced two months later when we started to send out an alert with the Net News headlines called "At Your Personal Request". Late in 2003 The Northern Miner site was revamped, and for the first time included the online version of the Canadian Mines Handbook.

The growing number of visits to the CMJ web site indicates that a lot of readers like the electronic news, and they particularly like being sent the Alert. By far most of our hits come on Thursdays, the same day the Alert is sent out.

You can count on the Mining Group to keep you informed with accurate, timely, targeted information. Enjoy this week's Net News.


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