After reading The Savage War and watching documentaries like Desert Lions, I’ve gained a new perspective on journalists in the field. I used to want to be a foreign correspondent but I don’t know if I’m cut out for it anymore. The journalists of these stories make bonds with few people in their travels which I’m sure cause them to value them so much more. So when so many people around them die in combat, it’s probably much like losing family. These people are the closest thing they have to a family while away from their own. I don’t think I would be emotionally equipped to handle that kind of loss.
In The Savage War, Murray Brewster forms a close relationship with his translator Jojo. I read that Jojo ends up being killed right after he reports a story to Murray.
It must take enormous amounts of strength and courage to be able to not only put yourself in the middle of explosives and IEDs, but to know that the people around you might not be there the next hour; the people who are closest to you and the only people who could understand what you’re feeling in the midst of that warzone. I don’t think I could do it… But I’m glad these journalists could.
"The government’s intention was assimilation. To take the Indian out of the children; to eradicate them."
It’s embarrassing to admit that before going to the Where are the Children? exhibit at the University of Manitoba, I knew little to nothing on the history of the residential schools. Between having the memory capacity of a rat and the fact that my school did not educate us much on the subject, I felt pretty ignorant. I’m convinced that high schools like mine, neglected to teach us about that dark side of Canada’s history. It’s like when parents have one black sheep for a child and try to hide that child’s flaws from the world and sweep all the issues under the rug.
Talking with the couple of ladies who run the exhibit I got a chance to learn a lot of things I had no idea of before. A few key points I found most interesting…
I’m so grateful we had the opportunity to check out the exhibit, do a smudge, and talk to the people involved.
Coming down to the end of
an era CreComm I am finding myself drawing stark revelations about the people around me and the experiences I’ve had over the past couple of years. As part of a our presentations this week, we all sat down with a couple of dashing young camera men and were asked a series of questions. The one that keeps replaying in my head is when they asked us how to describe each major in a word. It was interesting to look at ourselves with sort of an outsiders perspective. My choice for a single descriptive word for each were as follows:
Journalism - Go Getters
Meidia Production - Creative
Public Relations - Skilled
Advertising - Artsy
That’s how I would sum up every major. I wish that I could repeat the second year of the program 3 times so I could major in all the categories. There are so many specialized skills that you learn in each major that you might never learn in your own. But put us all together and you there’s a dynamite team. I hope the real world is like this, because this conglomeration of immeasurable talent and skill is invaluable and not so easy to come by (I would imagine).
I’m not usually a gullible consumer but I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for stats. After watching an intense documentary about how you can reverse degenerative diseases with a whole foods plant based diet I was convinced enough to go vegan. Later, a friend told me that stats aren’t always as accurate and as revealing as they should be. Quel surprise!
I was reading a study on Stats Canada that drew a correlation between the role of socio-economic status and diabetes. The 1994/1995 to 2008/2009 study said that:
Low levels of household income and education are associated with the onset of type 2 diabetes in Canadian women, independent of other factors such as the well-established relationship with excess weight.
The study also said that diabetes was more prevalent in women than in men no matter what their socio-economic status was. The development of diabetes among men was related to being overweight or obese, and to the number of secondary behavioural factors they reported, such as heavy drinking, smoking and physical inactivity.
Since most of us are visual learners though, visual representations of the data is always better understood than text and numbers.
There’s only one kind of landlord who lets their tenants board for free and would rather not have them at all. The International Polar Bear Conservation Centre (IPBCC) is vacant and the Assiniboine Park Zoo hopes to keep it that way.
The centre officially opened on January 23, 2012 in the Assiniboine Park Conservancy (APC). It’s a part of the 10-acre Journey to Churchill exhibit that is set to open in October 2013.
The $31-million project will contribute to environmental and wildlife education, research, and conservation. Funded by the City of Winnipeg, the IPBCC, and in partnership with Manitoba Conservation & Water Stewardship, the centre offers public education on polar bears and covers topics like what factors are affecting their survival rates.
“The IPBCC will only be taking in orphaned polar bear cubs when deemed necessary and identified by Manitoba Conservation & Water Stewardship,” said Laura Curtis, Marketing and Communications Specialist for APC.
The orphaned cubs will come from Northern Manitoba unlike the zoo’s last beloved resident polar bear, Debby, who died in 2008 after living a full 42 years.
Even though the zoo built the centre for the purpose of housing orphaned cubs, they’d rather not have it come to that for any animals.
"We really hope we don’t see any orphaned polar bear cubs, but realistically, it’s going to happen," said APC’s zoological director, Tim Sinclair-Smith to the Winnipeg Free Press.
The new centre can house up to 12 cubs and is the first of its kind to do genetic testing on the bears. The zoologists will now be able to test whether the cubs have any relation to each other when they find them. The IPBCC is just one feature to Assiniboine Park Zoo’s $200-million facelift.
Bertha Masuva is on her annual visit to her hometown of Winnipeg from Los Angeles, California. She brought her two daughters to check out the exhibit. “They love the snow and they love coming back to Winnipeg to see their Grandma.”
“I think this [conservancy centre] will be great for kids. It’s interactive and really gets them involved,” Masuva said as her girls played on the touch screens.
Construction for the Journey to Churchill is already underway. The 10-acre route will feature three zones where visitors can explore different landscapes and animal viewing areas. It will be a four-season classroom for visitors to get a feel of where the animals came from. The transition for the Churchill animals will hopefully be an easy one with this replica of their new home.
What do the Community News Commons, Wikipedia, blogs, diaries and Hilroy notebooks all have in common? The contributors and writers are entitled to say whatever the heck they want, that’s what.
The Winnipeg Foundation and Winnipeg Free Press today announced the creation of the Community News Commons, an innovative new project that fosters community-generated reporting though a grassroots news hub.
I understand there are moderators and tiny little elves that operate the websites inside our laptops, but regardless, the contributors are still the general public. Free speech is great but what happened to the standards of journalism? The reason blogs have little to no credibility is because it’s not an elitist society. You don’t need a degree or even spellcheck to have one. All you need is an email address and a keyboard.
I am not discrediting any of these outlets I’m simply questioning their value. Websites like Wikipedia and Twitter are amazing for one thing - resources, not to be confused with valid information. They supply you with links to take you to root of the story and to investigate further.
Projects like the Community News Commons is great for, well, the community. But where does that leave us and our seemingly endless years of post-secondary education, all of our working for free, all of our “portfolio pieces” that are supposed to impress future employers… Does it leave us with our fellow community citizens who now have the same jobs as us?
When I started reading Hiroshima by John Hersey I was relatively frustrated. There were so many characters that I consistently was getting them mixed up. Plus the fact that I couldn’t pronounce their names, I often just skipped over them when they’d pop up in sentences. I continued to consult the back sleeve of the back where there was illustrations and 20 word blurbs about each person to remember who they were. I had to reread pages sometimes up to three times in order to really comprehend what was going on. The long run on sentences didn’t help this mass confusion in my brain either.
Another thing that kept running through my mind was the question:
How would this book differ if it were written today, both mechanically and stylistically?
The run on sentences probably wouldn’t fly with editors given the nature of this book. But I think the way it was written, with a non biassed voice, would still be a writing style if it were written today. It gave the reader a chance to decide what they were feeling on their own accord. I think this is a good writing style for journalists to follow.
Into the Grave by Mike McIntyre is another non fiction book that I’ve read that comes close in comparison to Hiroshima. Both books are written by journalists and both with an unbiassed voice. They both managed to report the information but in the form of a novel rather than an article. However, Into the Grave was an easier read - shorter sentences and names I could pronounce in my head.
When Hiroshima was published in the New Yorker in 1946 it caused a lot of commotion. For the first time ever, the editorial space was devoted to the 68 page spread of an article Hersey wrote about Hiroshima.
An article on the public’s reaction says,
The editorial went on to make clear that the Times did not regret that the bomb had been dropped. But it ends with the statement “The death and destruction not merely of people and cities but of the human conscience is clearly involved.”
One woman said the article was,
"an insipid falsification of the truth of atomic warfare. To have done the atom bomb justice, Mr. Hersey would have had to interview the dead."
Reaction from readers was said to be overwhelmingly but not entirely positive. A reader was said to have told New Yorker artist Helen Hokinson “I’ve read that entire ‘Hiroshima’ article from front to back and I didn’t see one funny thing in it!”  One subscriber wrote to The New Yorker saying “I read Hersey’s report. It was marvelous. Now let us drop a handful on Moscow.”
Reading Hiroshima from the victims perspective (through Hersey’s translation), helped create pathos. I could naively understand their pain and felt an overwhelming sadness for these innocent people.