Patrick Watson was a true giant of Canadian broadcasting

A brilliant mind with a critical eye. Intelligent, engaging, curious, humorous and innovative

Patrick Watson was a true giant of Canadian broadcastingOn Monday, a true giant of Canadian broadcasting left us. Patrick Watson passed away at age 92. Steve Paikin, host of TVO’s The Agenda, circulated the sad news. “A broadcasting legend has died. … His Witness to Yesterday in which he interviewed figures from our history got me hooked both on journalism and history,” he…

Ted Byfield played an influential role in Canadian conservatism

In all parts of the country

Ted Byfield played an influential role in Canadian conservatismTed Byfield passed away at his home on Dec. 23 at age 93. Many Canadian conservatives mourn the loss of a great man. Byfield was a giant in Canadian conservatism. He consistently challenged existing orthodoxies and societal norms within modern liberalism and helped create an intellectual blueprint for a political movement that had often struggled…

Historian reveals story of Canadian journalist who chronicled Holodomor

Rhea Clyman was the first western journalist to expose the forced famine that killed millions in Ukraine

Historian reveals story of Canadian journalist who chronicled HolodomorShe’s considered the first western journalist to expose the Soviet famine-genocide that killed millions of Ukrainians in the early 1930s. But although Rhea Clyman sent numerous accounts of Soviet and Nazi atrocities to North American newspapers as a foreign correspondent, she was soon largely forgotten. That is, until four years ago, when Jars Balan, director…

Student-led academic journal showcases undergraduate research in arts

Crossings is the first to bridge undergrad research across all arts programs

Student-led academic journal showcases undergraduate research in artsA new student-led academic journal – peer-reviewed by students – has launched in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Arts to showcase some of the finest undergraduate work in the social sciences, humanities and fine arts. Called Crossings, the annual publication contains perspectives as varied as a Marxist critique of capitalist trends in the theatre, an…

The hidebound habits of the journalistic mind

'Reporting' today is simply a note-perfect parrot-squawk of State-approved storylines

The hidebound habits of the journalistic mindAn editor-in-chief infamous for, shall we say, whimsy once decreed no opening sentence of any news story could exceed 21 words. The impromptu commandment unleashed a newsroom tizzy equivalent to what might have erupted if an exotic dancer had walked in bearing a burlap bag full of ferrets and released them during her performance. The…

Believe it or not! First-rate journalists still exists in Canada

In the midst of institutional confusion and ineptness, individual journalists are still holding the powerful to account

Believe it or not! First-rate journalists still exists in CanadaHonesty demands acknowledgement. In recent weeks I’ve written sharp criticism of journalistic performance on a variety of issues. It’s true that at the institutional level, corporate providers of the ceaseless information that floods our waking hours too often resemble a pooch begging for table scraps while running in ever diminishing circles going yip-yip-yip. It would…

Lazy journalism becoming a mouthpiece for the State’s narrative

There is a growing comfort in institutional journalism to follow rather than question

Lazy journalism becoming a mouthpiece for the State’s narrativeWarning lights should always flash before our eyes whenever journalists mix raw numbers and percolating percentages in the same paragraph. Numbers clearly state actuality. Percentages are the ups and downs of context. Regardless of the axiom attributed to Stalin that one death is a tragedy and a million is a statistic, if two people die,…

When a spy agency cozies up to the media, who do we trust?

Carl Berstein once exposed the existence of a network of CIA-recruited journalists working around the world for the U.S.

When a spy agency cozies up to the media, who do we trust?A few years after he broke the Watergate story, Carl Bernstein quit the Washington Post and spent six months looking at the relationship between the CIA and the press. The result was a 25,000-word cover story in the Oct. 20, 1977, edition of Rolling Stone called The CIA and the Media. The article, still online…

Grad mixes science, journalism in quest for versatile skill set

For Tom Ndekezi, university was a chance to gain practical skills not only for a variety of jobs but a variety of careers

Grad mixes science, journalism in quest for versatile skill setTom Ndekezi remembers hearing a statistic during his second year at university that would drive every decision about his academic future from then on: members of his generation can expect to have six to eight careers in their lifetime. “Not even just jobs, but careers,” said the graduating University of Alberta Faculty of Science student.…

Beware of Twitter – it will bite you in the ass

Examples of tweets destroying careers are numerous. Commit your thoughts to Twitter and you're forever setting your opinions in amber

Beware of Twitter – it will bite you in the assLast week, I got a notice from Twitter that I was ‘celebrating’ 12 years on the social media platform. What an accomplishment. Here are my Twitter stats after 12 years: I have sent out 3,475 tweets. I’m following 50 accounts, one of whom claims to be a graduate of ‘Bovine University.’ Bafflingly, I have 431…
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