Articles

Some of my most popular, and favourite, dispatches.

Leaves rest on the ground with drops of water on them.

White supremacy, doing journalism, and the explanatory comma

Posted on
This particular Code Switch episode on the explanatory comma is itself a kind of extended explanatory comma, or perhaps an interrogatory comma, because Demby and Marisol Meraji take time to really discuss and think about their own discomfort with this practice.
A corner store, branded in the 7-11 colours, says Postmedia on the sign.

Idea: Journalism is a convenience store

Posted on
I like to imagine different metaphors for journalism. Consider that the press is a giant inertia machine, for example.1 I like to imagine different metaphors as a way to resist,…
Illustration of a news team, selling ads, writing copy and tweeting.

Journalism is the business of influence

Posted on
Good journalists do what they do because they care. They have interests. The organizations that employ journalists also are guided by interests. They have purpose. The Washington Post wears their…
A small human stands on cliff overlooking a great divide in Norway.

The look, and the social nature of knowledge

Posted on
When I was growing up I was bad with context. Super bad. My young logic-oriented self just did not understand humans and their social “nuance.” I’m still trying. Perhaps I’m…
Giant cogs drawn in blue and corral with small bodies ground between the gears.

The dominant press is a giant inertia machine

Posted on
But here’s an old idea: what if dominant journalism, by and large and in the long run, is actually a drag on progress? What if dominant journalism, and by that I mean the mainstream press, is actually a conservative force? On this view, it’s a drag on change…
Angel in Islamic painting

Canadian journalism fails at nuance when it comes to jihad

Posted on
On my view the news media in Canada have, by and large and in the long run, misrepresented the concept of jihad. They have positioned jihad as a form of villainy. In so doing they have portrayed Islam as a peril…
The Angel Gabriel as depicted by Bernardino de Betto.

Some notes on why jihad is good

Posted on
If you read Canadian journalists on the topic, you might not understand that jihad has some very nice meanings. Most Canadian journalists seem to commonly misrepresent the concept. It’s not just them, mind you. There’s lots of misrepresentation of jihad to go around…
Panels of illustrations from the Great Moon Hoax of 1835.

More nuanced theories of journalism needed

Posted on
A good theory of journalism helps us understand what media are not journalistic. And, equally important, a theory helps us understand what unconventional kinds of media are journalistic…
Illustration of a wall of trophies of different kinds of animals, including the predator!

Nine animals that we should be trophy hunting instead of bears

Posted on
I’ve been wracking my brain trying to think of how to help stop the commercial trophy hunting of bears in BC, which is ongoing and totally unethical. But I’m pretty smart, so I put this problem in my mind-vice and I’m a genius…
These generals were probably racist too

Media should always link to press releases

Posted on
Canadian journalists and other forms of media types rely on press releases written by public relations pros and the problem can be easily fixed by…
The Christians storm the beach during the crusades and capture a city of Muslims

No one has a right to not be offended

Posted on
When critically considering a given piece of journalism, we might ask ourselves, was it informative? was it engaging? was it helpful? So it’s rather sad that others, when faced with criticism, are inclined to ask simply, was it legal?
White journalists sit around a busy news room, black and white

Yes, journalists are* responsible for their headlines

Posted on
Unfortunately, headlines are, often enough, hyperbolic, clickbaity, misleading, having secondary content, racist, priming, inappropriate or ill-judged. Engaged readers will complain to the author. The author, enraged with righteous indignation, will bark, “I didn’t write the headline…
The Reagan family stand in full NYPD uniform in the light of the Catholic Church

Cop show Blue Bloods makes me cringe

Posted on
Blue Bloods is a story of a cop family, the Reagans, in New York. And it’s a reasonably well written family drama that suffers from deeply racist, and sexist, narratives…