Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Frances Bula, for many years Vancouver Sun's City Hall senior reporter, is departing the Sun to work as Contributing Editor at Vancouver Magazine. She will also be a key member of Langara College's Journalism Faculty.
Here is her last entry on her Sun's "City States" blog from this morning:
A short goodbye
Dear all of my blog-readers,
This will be my last post on this Vancouver Sun blog, as I have resigned from the paper.
I wanted to tell all of you, as I go, how much I have enjoyed this new form of telling you the news and how great it has been to interact in a completely different way with a crowd of intelligent, engaged and well-informed people. I don’t want to say “readers,” because that implies you are passive and the thing I love about the blog is that you’re not – you post comments and email and phone and let me know in person about other information I should have or your critiques of what I’ve written – so it’s more like a conversation where you learn from me and I learn from you.
What this blog has really proven to me, as well, is that there is a significant group of people out there who really care about content and about issues beyond the boundaries of your house and yard. That’s something that we in the newspaper business are frequently told is not the case. But the growth of this blog, which went from 1,000 to 30,000 page views a month in the course of only six months, tells me people are hungry for information.
That’s encouraging to me and to everyone who works in this funny business of scooping up and distributing words and facts and observations for a living. It makes me feel good about the future of journalism, which is a cause I really believe in. In spite of all the many criticisms we can all make about objectivity and corporate ownership and bias and sensationalism and all the other terrible faults of contemporary media, there is still something exciting about the fundamental concept of having people whose “work” is to go out and ask weird questions, dig up strange and unknown stuff from files, or hang out and observe the doings of everyone from street people to premiers – all on behalf of the public.
People often talk about the new power of “citizen journalism,” seeming to forget that the thing about paid journalists is that they are the original form of citizen journalism. Journalists, through their professional organizations, have always rejected the idea that anyone should have to be certified or have to have a required level of education to work in the business. That’s because of a fundamental belief that all citizens have the capacity to observe and report on the world, not just some elite class. So I encourage all of you to support the good parts of the mainstream media that’s produced by us citizen journalists who happen to be paid.
As for me, I will be continuing with other forms of journalism, including blogging, but, unless there’s an unforeseeable turn in my life in the next few years, I won’t be embedded in a daily-news operation any more as I have been for the last 25 years of my life.
Thank you so much for being a great audience and I’ll see you elsewhere.
Posted by David Berner at 4:36 PM
Philip Owen has been named to the Order of Canada.
No, that's debasement. Or...de basement.
Because he has travelled the world promoting the Four Pillars Delusion?
It's never been about four programs. It's always been about Harm Seduction, which has caused more harm than good.
On the other hand...
Dr. Henry Morgentaler was also named to the order and that has brought out the religious leaders in outrage.
I applaud Morgentaler and his courage and his belief in women.
Posted by David Berner at 8:39 AM
We've got good news and we've got bad news.
The good news: 12 new doctors from 10 countries were made Canadian citizens yesterday.
The bad: there are somewhere between 400 and 800 foreign-trained doctors living in B.C. who would like to work as doctors, but have yet to be licensed to practice.
Will any government ever act on this continuing scandal?
Posted by David Berner at 8:35 AM
Turning Point Recovery Society has had to abandon its plans for another facility in Richmond to help addicts. The Society has been quietly and effectively doing its job for 25 years.
We can expect ignorance and fear mongering from neighbours. That's a given.
But where has Richmond City Council been through all of this? Where is their vision and courage?
I'll tell you where.
It's been in the laminated wood panels on the roof of the Olympic Skating Oval, an ego project never discussed with the citizens.
Do they actually think that they have no addicts in their jurisdiction?
Do they actually think?
A classic case of fiddling while Rome burns.
Posted by David Berner at 8:29 AM