Joaquim Menezes, an award-winning Canadian technology journalist who helped IT World Canada take some of its first steps towards becoming a digital-first media organization, died this week. He was 48.
Menezes, who joined IT World Canada in 2004, spent most of his career covering the rise of information technology and its impact on business and society at a variety of magazines and Web sites. He also took the initiative in many of IT World Canada’s early forays into daily online reporting, the use of video and blogging as new ways to engage technology professionals.
“To be a successful journalist today you need to love storytelling, you need to love doing it in whatever medium you can and you need to be willing to work harder than anyone else to find an audience. That was Joaquim,” said Shane Schick, vice-president, content & community (editor-in-chief) at IT World Canada. “He had an incredible work ethic and a passion to contribute to our organization that never flagged, even in the last months of his life.”
Before developing cancer and taking a leave of absence, Menezes had been senior online editor at IT World Canada, offering insight to multimedia journalism across all brands but specifically focusing on the day-to-day operations of ITBusiness.ca, a Web site aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. Under Menezes’ leadership, ITBusiness.ca won its first Canadian Online Publishing Award for best online-only site in 2010.
“He was fiercely independent and loved the written word as much as his adoration for anything technology-related,” said Fawn Annan, president and group publisher at IT World Canada. “He was a very private man, never complaining and always generous with a warm smile and a sparkle in his eyes.”
Menezes started his IT journalism career in the late 1990s as a writer at Plesman Communications where, as a senior writer for Computing Canada, he quickly distinguished himself for his stories about enterprise resource planning systems and sophisticated business applications. He then spent several years at Porter Novelli Canada, but continued to focus more on writing and editing than pitching stories to other journalists. Among his projects was PC Advisor, a quarterly publication produced for HP Canada that reached more than 12,000 Canadian businesses.
At IT World Canada, Menezes also edited CIO Government Review, a publication that focused on IT strategies for all three levels of the Canadian government. He also helped develop ITWorldCanada.com from a relatively static site with information about its print publications into an electronic daily, developing its first blogs and guidelines for external contributors.
Menezes is survived by his wife Lorraine and his extended family.