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What is Interrobang?

A home page screenshot of Interrobang the group blog

Some folks and I have decided that Interrobang is a great name for a group blog. So, this might mean that I’ll be posting less here…

Question and answer on journalism and other forms of writing

Two quality microphones face each other in a pattern.

I was contacted recently by a student of journalism at Wilfrid Laurier University. She asked me the following questions…

The state of hyperlinking in news reports

s with figurative hyperlinks in them

I’m happy to report that the state of hyperlinking in news in Canada appears to be improving. It’s a tentative claim…

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 modeling to real life society …

Design a better calendar: new zero year needed

Jesus Christ rises from the grave: painting by Botticelli

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…

Rex Murphy on human rights

Rex Murphy wasn’t the first pundit to misunderstand rights, and human rights. But he is paradigmatic. He has a thing for human rights and mentions them often.

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 up Canadian politics. Stephen Saideman called it hyperbole. And Andrew Leech called it short on evidence…

NPR ethics handbook

I like this handbook on ethics by NPR. I like the way it looks and the way it functions. I like the spirit of integrity that it…

The best journalism is a kind of advocacy

I’ve been interested in hearing more about a case of a Prince Edward Island writer and journalist who was ejected from the Press Gallery for being an advocate. Wow. I have lots of thoughts about this. Most saliently I believe that journalists are advocates…

Social norming, agenda setting and discourse about climate change

An aerial photo of Calgary, the Stampede grounds, flooded

I am fascinated by what constitutes the limits of “respectable” public discourse. This phenomenon is related, in part, to the Overton window, which is the set of concepts that are considered politically acceptable by the dominant culture. But I am equally fascinated by the social limits …

Grappling with climate change, politics and the Alberta floods

Arial photo of the Calgary flood by Becky Cory

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 to read and understand so many complex issues of our day, including climate change…

The context is climate change

A car in a flood in 1927 in Mississippi

Journalists claim that it’s their duty to give context to important events. The floods in Alberta are important. The context is climate change, but the press is strangely absent…

The absence of hyperlinks in journalism, part two

a graph in some partial html in a speech balloon

A further reflection on the absence of hyperlinks in certain mainstream forms of journalism, and what this says about modern editors and journalists …

“Digital journalism” and the absence of hyperlinks

A speech ballon with some basic code for a hyperlink with anchor text that says Rocket science

In which I reflect on the behaviour of major news organizations in Canada who stubbornly refuse to link out to relevant websites, data and reports…

My first bottle rocket!

A simple plane reminds me of the joy of physics and making a bottle rocket

I never had a bottle rocket growing up. At least, not that I remember. And a couple of weeks ago, a few friends and I put Mentos in a bottle of diet coke and that was really exciting and it got me…

A problem for Google: National Post

screenshot of the National Post spoofing Google

I was surprised to learn recently that an important paper that forms the basis of the intellectual underpinnings of the austerity movement is wrong. But more importantly, I discovered that Google needs to do a better job indexing webpages…

Andrew Coyne: instance of racism #3

Andrew Coyne with the National Post

This is my third exploration of racism in the writings of Andrew Coyne, while writing for Postmedia News. Today’s argument will focus on the discourse of denial…

Andrew Coyne: instance of racism #2

Andrew Coyne wears a tie

This is my second exploration of racism in the writings of Andrew Coyne with Postmedia News. This argument will refer to three articles written by Coyne in January…

Andrew Coyne: instance of racism #1

cropped image of Martin Luther King at the podium with poster in the background

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…

Andrew Coyne dismisses multiple allegations of racist writing

These generals were probably racist too

A little while ago I posted a review of several journalists’ positions on the Idle No Moremovement. With the exception of Ibbitson, all of the journalists I reviewed positioned themselves as experts and went on to express views in ways that displayed a lack of good judgement…

The social relevance of journalism

connect the dots on the world map

There is an old idea that journalism has an important role in democracy. I kind of believe this. But the problem is that the view of journalism subscribed to by the old guard, is shrinking the role of journalism in our democracies…

Dinosaur journalists and Idle No More

I challenge white journalists to tell us how much they think they know about about the history and relationship between settlers and Indigenous people. Judging by their recent strong opinions about First Nations governance, Indigenous land rights, the Idle No More movement, Attawapiskat, and Chief Spence, they are all experts…

People died for this right

warships from the American Civil War

I’ve heard countless pious prescriptions to do such and such, because “people fought and died for this right.” There are many versions of this cliché. They are all clichés. And they are all terribly lazy…

The bus is cool

Cover image for a video branding public transit

“Free handles. It is big and long. It has its own lane. Yeah. It is street.” This video ad is seriously awesome…