Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Ryerson Review of Journalism Pieces

The highlight of my time at the Ryerson Review of Journalism were a couple of articles analyzing Vancouver's media.

The most substantial was a 4000 word behemoth on the Globe & Mail's attempts to establish themselves as a truly national newspaper (Canada isn't Ontario FYI) by looking at their somewhat futile efforts to woo Vancouver readers. It took months to research and write and, in the end, was largely inconclusive about whether it was a success or not. The real conclusion was that CanWest, with their monopolistic ways, will control the Vancouver market for many years to come. Patricia Graham, EIC of the sun, wrote a rather angry letter to the editor calling me a hack. Something about "standards free journalism." I'm quite proud actually.

My other RRJ favourite was an online feature, about the WestEnder's attempt to rebrand themselves as an alternative weekly and compete with the Georgia Straight. I'm pretty sure, mostly judging by their covers, that the WestEnder has gotten a lot worse since I wrote the piece. Interestingly enough, a piece in 2007's Langara Journalism Review throws a new lead on it, shortens it and ends up with a vaguer, sourceless and out of date version of my article. I'm not saying it's plagiarism, just lazy. Don't take this as a slur against the Langara J-School, a lot of good writers come out of it, in fact I'm anxiously waiting fo the 2008 LJR which has a story by Jackie Wong about the travails of alternative media types living in Vancouver. I'm apparently one of the main characters.

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