Making news unfake

David Carr, photo Chester Higgins Jr., New York Times website.

When 911 happened, he was working at a magazine in New York. He called it a party magazine. Not particularly substantial. And he was a recognized media critic covering the arts. Suddenly, one morning in September, long-time newspaper reporter David Carr got a call from his editor just after 9 o’clock. The editor told him what had just happened at the World Trade Center and he was assigned to the story.

“Some of the staff are going uptown, some downtown,” the editor told him. “Carr, you go cover the firemen.”

Mid-summer’s day dreaming

When I wasn't napping, here's what dawn at a friend's cottage looked like.
When I wasn’t napping, here’s what dawn at a friend’s cottage looked like.

It kind of snuck up on me. Caught me off guard. My wife and I had taken a few days off from a relatively hectic few weeks of work. We’d joined some friends for an extended weekend up North at a cottage on a lake, whose name I’ve forgotten. To feel less guilty about abandoning projects that needed attention back at my office, in fact, I’d even brought along my laptop and some files. Then, somewhere between transcribing an interview and writing a letter to a publisher, it happened.

I moved from my impromptu desktop – a table and chair in a screened-in porch – to a summer couch in a quiet corner of the cottage to read … and I fell fast asleep.

Cannot curl up with a Kobo

Reading the Cosmos community newspaper with my grandson - initiating his contact with hard copy early.
Reading the Cosmos community newspaper with my grandson – initiating his contact with hard copy early.

They always surprise me with their unique requests. Last weekend, as I was writing a magazine article, one of my grandsons walked around my office pointing at books and papers and photographs while asking, “What’s this?” or “What’s that?” It went on for 20 minutes. It was great fun. But I think my favourite request was when another grandson looked at me with drooping eyelids, a big yawn and a special request on his lips.

“Would you read me a bedtime story, please?” he asked. Then, there was a short pause as I waited for the supplementary, “Can I hold the book?”

Government versus democracy

To talk about sickness among salmon, in B.C. is to break the law.

It was Sunday afternoon. Our writers’ conference was wrapping up. About 200 of this country’s most celebrated novelists, poets and non-fiction writers had gathered for the weekend at a Vancouver hotel to discuss writers’ issues. But before our annual general meeting of The Writers’ Union of Canada broke up, one of TWUC’s founding members, Andreas Schroeder, rose to read a motion put forward by B.C. members of the union.

“Whereas Bill 37-2012 (about to be passed in the B.C. Legislature) will make it an offence for anyone to disclose the presence of a reportable animal disease (in B.C.),” Schroeder said. “Be it resolved that the union opposes the muzzling of both the press and public discourse.”