Some of my most popular, and favourite, dispatches

Here are some of my favourites and most popular posts.

Two quality microphones face each other in a pattern.

Question and answer on journalism and other forms of writing

I was contacted recently by Kristen Curtis, a student of journalism in her final year at Wilfrid Laurier University. She asked me the following excellent questions. 1. How did you become ...
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s with figurative hyperlinks in them

The state of hyperlinking in news reports

I'm happy to report that the state of hyperlinking in news in Canada appears to be improving. It's a tentative claim. However, last year I wrote twice about what I ...
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A small dog stand on their hind legs and looks in the window at a local coffee shop.

Can we have infinite, exponential growth with finite resources? Andrew Leach says Yes.

The thing about economics is that it's a real scientific discipline. Like many sciences, there's some more theoretical branches and also some more applied branches. And the application of economic ...
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Jesus Christ rises from the grave: painting by Botticelli

Design a better calendar: new zero year needed

It's two thousand years since the birth of Christ; the zero year. I think it's time to free ourselves from the Christian calendar. To be clear, we didn't make the ...
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Petrostatehood is not a zero or one

Petrostatehood is not a zero or one

Some time ago Nikiforuk published an article at Foreign Policy declaring Canada a petrostate. It caused a big splash and became a talking point in the culture wars that make ...
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Sometimes, public relations is more journalistic than "journalism.

The best journalism is a kind of advocacy

I've been interested in hearing more about a case of a PEI writer and journalist who was ejected from the Press Gallery for being an advocate. I have thoughts about ...
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An aerial photo of Calgary, the Stampede grounds, flooded

Social norming, agenda setting and discourse about climate change

In the days and months following the bombing of the world trade centers, there was a kind of smothering of public conversation. The range of things one could say about ...
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Arial photo of the Calgary flood by Becky Cory

Grappling with climate change, politics and the Alberta floods

It's no small chore trying to understand climate change. We live in a society that is lacking in scientific literacy. Even those of us that have some, have little time ...
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A car in a flood in 1927 in Mississippi

The context is climate change

Journalists claim that it's their duty to give context to important events. The floods in Alberta are important. And an important context is climate change. I'm not saying that climate ...
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A close up of a chip with many tiny connections and logic circuits.

“Digital journalism” and the absence of hyperlinks

Postmedia put up paywalls recently on their online properties. Whenever this kind of thing happens there's usually a flourish of media about the future of journalism, and what digital journalism ...
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Andrew Coyne with the National Post

Andrew Coyne: instance of racism #3

This is my third exploration of racism in the writings of Andrew Coyne. Today's argument will focus on the  discourse of denial. I should mention that Coyne wrote three articles ...
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Andrew Coyne wears a tie

Andrew Coyne: instance of racism #2

For the purposes of this second argument, I will be referring to three articles written by Andrew Coyne for Postmedia News in January. On my view, Coyne showed poor judgement ...
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cropped image of Martin Luther King at the podium with poster in the background

Andrew Coyne: instance of racism #1

This is my first argument toward the conclusion that journalist Andrew Coyne made claims that were racist. The remarks by Coyne, that I will focus on for today's argument were ...
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These generals were probably racist too

Andrew Coyne dismisses multiple allegations of racist writing

A little while ago I posted a review of several journalists' positions on First Nations governance, Indigenous land rights, Idle No More, Chief Spence and Attawapiskat. With the exception of ...
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connect the dots on the world map

The social relevance of journalism

There is an old idea that journalism has an important role to play in a healthy democracy. I mostly believe this. Some would even argue that the press is a ...
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An illustration of Edward Cornwallis looking very pleased with himself.

Dinosaur journalists and Idle No More

I challenge white journalists to tell us how much they know about about the history and relationship between settlers and Indigenous people.[1. I have some severe discomfort using the words ...
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The globe reminds us that no one spins harder than a media outlet under scrutiny

Understanding bias

I see bias everywhere. Yes we all struggle with our biases. I wish the reporters, editors and owners at the Globe and Mail would own up to theirs. There’s bias ...
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How not to disagree on Twitter

The veil is “hideous”, “odious”

This is my sixth post in my series on Dan Gardner's article about the Muslim veil. I want to reflect on the language of hate, and on having successful public ...
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Close up of a snearing soldier by Alfred T. Palmer

The use and abuse of science in editorial

I approve of science. I approve of evidence and research. By and large and in the long run, science reveals the facts or transparently fails to do so. Along the ...
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Journalism is a species of public relations

Public relations defense of Conservative policy

I've fallen behind publishing some short reflections about the editorial Dan Gardner wrote about women who choose to wear a veil. I'm still committed to writing them. I have a ...
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Democracy is not zero or one

Democracy is not a single style of governance. Democracy is not simply about having elections. Democracies come in many colours and fashions. Democracy is a matter of degree and dimension ...
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Santa Claus and the orbital model of the atom

I was recently asked on Twitter what the difference is between Santa Claus and the orbital model of the atom. It was asked in a way, that suggested there was ...
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Georgy Baxter wood cut of a press

The significance of the news brand

Folks have always understood that the various news outlets have brands. But I think this understanding has been superficial. People are highly aware that major news outlets have different logos ...
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Four cops surround a man on the ground just prior to killing him in the Vancouver airport.

The Robert Dziekanski case

I have started writing about the killing of Robert Dziekanski on numerous occasions. I always scrapped my drafts because I was worried that my anger over the killing and the ...
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Graphic representation of my coffee

Can humans echolocate?

A few years ago I was at a dinner party at a cabin on Vancouver Island. The host, and my good friend, Dalton, told a story. He told us a ...
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Sometimes, public relations is more journalistic than "journalism.

Challenges for the modern journalist

Okay. I've been very critical of journalists and newspapers that are getting it wrong on climate change: here and here and here. But you should know that I have moments ...
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Calgary Herald logos from back in the day.

Hey, Calgary Herald, you suck on climate change destabilization

Here's a fun thing that you can try at home. It's a simple form of media analysis. The result of this particular analysis leads me to think bad thoughts about ...
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graphic representation of metastable

Design a life support system

Today is a good day to think about our life support system. Our life support is our earth. It's a delicate mixture of gravity, various nuclear forces that hold our ...
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