Journalism is in the eye of the beholder, not the beholden. Two Winnipeg blogs are examples:

I know I am new to the game – really, I’m not even trying to play it, as I made clear in my introduction – but the uproar last week in Alberta about freedom of ALL press forced me to play catch-up.

The matter of a great divide between establishment – for lack of a better term – newspaper and broadcast companies, and upstarts or outliers, came to a head when Premier Notley did this country a great favour. By trying to thwart women who, while a lot more ‘out there’ than I am, simply look into things and publish reporting about the facts, their observations, and maybe give an opinion, we have been forced to discuss how uncomfortable it makes people with power.

People like politicians, their party partisans, and a lot of media folks.

  One of those media types, Shannon Sampert, wrote something termed Analysis, in the Free Press:

“What is a journalist?

With the rise of citizen journalism, bloggers and online news portals, this is a debate that is becoming increasingly muddied.”

I have to say, it seems to me that her newspaper and other media have either ignored these new players entirely, or sometimes taken from these sources as news tips and not given them credit for finding stuff out. (I’m a little embarrassed that I was mostly unfamiliar with The Rebel media until this, although I do recognize some things I heard / read as starting with their outlet, and have seen Ezra Levant on the news.) Instead “news consumers” are fed stories about Mrs. Trudeau’s wardrobe, or  the husbands’ latest selfie, or MPI or MLLC/ government announcements with no critiquing, by outlets that rely on revenue from government and its agencies to survive. 

That is too bad, because I easily found two recent Winnipeg blog posts with content the media should be doing more of, and not ignoring. First, from Around This Town:

What’s your plan for Hydro?

“the Liberals are very much an unknown. They are a rebuilding party under a new leader who has ideas I am quite sure the old leader would not have proposed, like privatizing liquor sales. Would they privatize Manitoba Hydro too? I very much doubt it, but I can’t say for sure because they don’t say one way or the other on their web site…

The NDP does not have a single policy of any kind on their party’s web site, like literally nothing, but we know very well what their policy is because they have been implementing it for a decade. It is to capitalize in the short term on increasing revenues from water rental fees, other financial spin offs and construction jobs, all while exporting electricity at a loss, piling up billions of dollars in debt and condemning future rate payers to increasing electricity fees.

From the tone of that last sentence, you can probably guess what I think of the government’s direction, which is why I would like to know what the Liberals have planned. They have a new leader and a new direction, but do they have new ideas about Hydro?”

Derick goes on to put forward 3 ideas that everyone should read and ask Rana Bokhari, and every other election candidate, whether they agree or not.

It’s work like his, that should make the “debate” a lot less muddled for Shannon Sampert. Another example of that would  be

A well established site about mostly city hall and ratepayer issues, did a column touching on illegal snow zones fleecing his neighbours, the City of Winnipeg Water and Waste department, recycling centres, how all of these are failures costing families money we could use for better things like our kids. The punchline is a story far more worthwhile than a lot of the stuff I see from the supposedly professional news operations that rely on government sponsors:   

“So it goes in Winnipeg. Talk a big talk, like you’re “world class” and come up with a finished project that doesn’t look anything like what you’ve proposed to do for more money than budgeted.”




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