Life is a journey, Enjoy the trip

Category: Rants (page 1 of 11)

More than a Promise Broken

The decision of the Federal Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to break their campaign platform promise of Election reform is a truly bad idea.

In the last election, the liberals promised a new era of transparency compared to the previous party in power and in some ways they have done that. However, this was a key campaign platform and many people voted for the Liberals instead of the Green Party or the NDP based on what they promised to do on election reform.

In recent years we have seen people’s views of politicians and the political system become more cynical. This is not without some merit if you look at the last campaign both in the US and Canada.

Many people were hoping that a change was happening from business as usual politics but it looks like it is just more of the same. I found it striking to read tweets and Facebook posts by supporters of the party and I found them very similar to supports of the Conservative party defending a policy that the public did not think was right.

Beyond the issue, itself is the fact that this will make more people more disappointed and cynical about politicians and the political system in general. Having more of the electorate disengage and not being as informed can be a dangerous thing. People are more likely to believe fake news sites and other sources of misinformation.

This issue could have been handled much better. Make a decision on what sort of voting system would be best and put it to the citizens in a referendum. In this way, if the majority of voters did not like the idea then you could say you put it to the people. Instead, all this has done is anger many people who took a chance and wanted change. Those that do choose to participate in the voting process again may not be as trusting in future. And that is the real shame.

Random Thought June 18 2015 – On Inspiration

dawn with stars

It’s been a very long week which did not start well and I’m realizing that I’m not as young anymore. I broke my own rule on knowing when to slow down and I have been paying the price physically and mentally in the last 24 hours.

However tomorrow brings more things and I look forward to it.

So why do we continue?

  • We continue because we want to be inspired.
  • We continue because we want others to be inspired.
  • We continue because the alternative is not acceptable to us.
  • We continue in spite of the negativity.
  • We continue because of the negativity.
  • We continue because we are not perfect but we know we can play a part in making our communities better.
  • We continue because we see others facing a much more challenging journey and yet they continue.
  • We continue because we do want to make things better.



David Carr & the future of professional media

David Carr,a media reporter for the New York Times, passed away suddenly in the newsroom of The Gray Lady on Thursday night. His death is a shock to those who were fortunate enough to know him personally as well as many people (like myself) who read his work.

I remember first reading one of David’s columns back in 2009 and always found them very good. I heard more about him when he released a book about himself called “Night of the Gun” in which he describes his battles with drug and alcohol addiction.

In 2011 he was featured in a documentary called Page One: Inside the New York Times. It’s currently on Netflix Canada and is well worth a watch. There is one very memorable scene in the film where David Carr is interviewing executives at a “new” media website. At one point the CEO of Vice throws an inaccurate shot towards the NY Times, David stops him and basically tears him a new one in a very polite but forceful way. This is an example of a journalist who cares about his paper and his craft.

David was first a journalist before anything else. He and many others like him show the value of professional news organizations even in today’s internet society. In the documentary he is filmed working on a story about several problems with the management culture at the Chicago Tribune. You can see how a real news organization gathers information about issues that may not always be the most exciting but are important nevertheless. His co-worker A.O. Scott in his piece today has a great paragraph which sums things up rather well.

“A warrior for the truth.
I can picture his eyebrows shooting upward at that last sentence. A bit much, maybe. But he regarded the newspaper — and all of its digital, televisual and other cognates — as a big, clanking machine for churning out stories. The only rule was that the stories had to be true.”

At the same time that the importance of news organizations has never been more important, the challenges to those very organizations have never been more numerous. The same day that David Carr has passed away, 1/3 of Yahoo Canada’s editorial section were laid off.  In addition Sun News a conservative news network billed as “Fox North” is also shutting down.

Much has been written about the challenges to the traditional media funding model with the rise of the internet. We are able to gather the news quicker and cheaper than ever before, but there is still a need for experienced journalists and news gathering organizations. The need to help analyze these stories and look beyond the ten word soundbyte has never been more apparent. The fact that media organizations that provide a heavily slanted view are running into financial difficulties should not be a surprise to anyone. There is only so much of that sort of “news” an informed public will consume without realizing that there is something missing.

The challenge now is finding a financial model to keep the “true” news organizations around and healthy is more important than ever before.


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