The newspaper we read today was a dream come true for our visionary founders: Lynden Bechervaise, Gary Briand, Donald Miller and Bernie St. Laurent.
The main objective of the founders of Spec in 1974 was to improve the quality of life of the English-speaking people scattered in small pockets along the more than 400 miles of coastline. Before Spec there was no real unity, no real identity as English-speaking Gaspesians.
But, even worse, there was no way to communicate with the people. No newspaper, no local radio or television operating in English. Until Spec came along, the only English language media available to the area came from Northern New Brunswick. People in Gaspé listened to PEI radio, in New Carlisle they listened to Bathurst, in New Richmond and Escuminac they listened to Campbellton. This was before the CBC broadcast in the area. Gaspesians knew more about New Brunswick affairs than about Québec.
Spec was born in May 1975 to bridge the gulf between pockets of Anglophones all along the Coast. With the help of a small grant from the federal government Spec first rolled off the presses May 15, 1975
Now Spec is no longer just a method of informing the Anglophones in their own language about occurrences in their own area, but is read by many francophones who want to understand what is happening, on a regional level. Spec is the only regional newspaper covering the area from Riviere-au-Renard to Matapedia.
Spec is also the only free press along the Coast, all other papers being operated by large corporations.
Since Spec is paid for, you can be sure it is read! In fact, Spec is read weekly by thousands of Gaspesians, and also has a strong following outside the area; a factor important to those in the tourist industry.
One of the most asked questions a Spec employee is asked is What does Spec stand for? The word is an acronym for Social, Political, Economical and Cultural. These words best describe the kind of news that Spec covers.
Now Spec is no longer a method of informing just anglophones in their own language about events in their own area, but is read by many francophones who want to understand what is happening on a regional level. Spec is the only regional paper covering the territory from Riviére-au-Renard to Matapedia. It is also the only free press along the Coast; all other papers being operated by large corporations whose prime purpose is to gather advertising revenues. Spec is read weekly by thousands of Gaspesians and also has a strong following outside the area. We call them transplanted Gaspesians.
Spec has four full-time employees: The publisher, office manager, advertising manager and news editor and relies considerabally on volunteer help for social and community news, sports, columns and distribution.
On May 15, 2005 Spec celebrated its 30th Birthday. May it continue to prosper.
Spec was founded May 15, 1975. Run by a volunteer board of directors, the company is a non-profit organization with all surplus income going back into the development of the paper. The Board of Directors meet each month to discuss finances, general operations of the paper, and various other methods of how to pursue the goals and objectives of the weekly newspaper. Each spring an Annual General Meeting is held for the general public.
Since its inception, Spec newspaper has gone through various changes. Originally it was a monthly, then a bi-weekly and became a weekly November 4, 1980. Before long, Spec had developed a lengthy list of subscribers. Now it is read from as far away as Australia, England and California, as well as by thousands of people along the Gaspé Coast.