Late last week, I got to talk with Jean-François Codère of RueFrontenac.com, the website of Le Journal de Montréal’s 253 locked out employees. Just four days after staff was locked out in January by publisher Quebecor, RueFrontenac.com was launched, allowing the journalists to continue reporting while simultaneously showing management where to stick it.
Now the journalists will tackle the mobile web by doing something most media hasn’t had the cojones to do: Charge for their iPhone app.
The app, which was submitted to Apple last Thursday, should appear in the store any day now for just $1.99. It was built by the same people that made the Cyberpresse app for Montreal’s La Presse newspaper. As of now, Rue Frontenac has no plans to go the subscription route, something that The Wall Street Journal will try on their mobile apps starting October 24.
While the online venture is far from making money, Rue Frontenac’s audience continues to grow. This afternoon at Concordia University, Jean-Michel Nahas of Rue Frontenac spoke to journalism students about how the website broke the ongoing Benoît Labonté municipal politics scandal this weekend and about launching RueFrontenac.com with only a few computers and phone lines.
I’ve written a more in-depth story on RueFrontenac.com’s iPhone app for today’s issue of The Link, Concordia University’s independant newspaper. It’s available here.