Now there's something you don't see every day---a major big-city newspaper committing hara-kiri.
Buh-bye Winnipeg Free Press.
We won't miss the 'new' you.
A suicide note of sorts was penned by newspaper editor Paul Samyn and published in the Saturday, July 4, 2020 issue of the Free Press.
"An apology for marginalizing people of colour, and a promise to atone for our past." cried the headline.
Obviously inspired by the police-hating mobs that are terrorizing cities throughout Canada and the United States, Samyn went full grovel. He prostrated himself begging to kiss their rings, their feet, their behinds. He begged foregiveness and mercy and offered to make amends. He did everything but offer his mother and wife to them as his personal reparations.
Samyn wrote that the Winnipeg Free Press was always a racist newspaper. It was founded by racists, he said. Legendary Winnipeg Free Press reporters like John Dafoe were racists. The newspaper was nothing but 148 years of a stinking pile of racism.
But, said Samyn, he had seen the light. He was going to make things right for black people. Scrub that. 'For Black people,' because from now on the colour of people of colour must be capitalized.
That's just one tiny step towards "atoning" for the newspaper's sins. Samyn said he had taken an even bigger step---he was fighting racism by---wait for it---being even more racist. He had hired four new reporters on the basis of the colour of their skin. Take that Martin Luther King, Jr.
We're not making this up!
To prove he's not racist, Free Press editor Paul Samyn proudly announced that "at a time when newspapers everywhere are shedding jobs, the Free Press has added four people of colour in full-time reporting positions."
Subtly unsaid, is why this marks the end of traditional journalism at the Winnipeg Free Press and the end of the newspaper itself.
You see, the time-tested 5 W's of reporting--who, what, where, when and why---are old-school and good only for the trashheap.
The new journalism is "the narrative."
Maybe you don't know what that is, but you've certainly experienced it. Under "the narrative", details of an event aren't very important, and the concept of explaining or including both sides of an issue is downright wrong.
The narrative IS the story and the only facts that matter are those that support the narrative. In these times the narrative is that police are racists, white society is racist, even well-meaning liberals who deny they are racist are racist but don't know it.
So the modern reporter has to overcome this systemic racism by, ahem, educating the public through the narrative.
A perfect example of this was the front-page story in the Winnipeg Free Press exactly one week before Samyn's grovel.
"New video, more questions" declared the headline over the one and only story on the front page. "Footage shows cruiser ramming suspect, leaving man with fractured elbow" said the subhead.
The narrative was that those evil police ran a police car into a man running on foot away from them, injuring him. Then they covered the incident up. We know why, wink, wink.
"The incident has been kept from public view for three weeks, amid mounting calls to defund the police departments and waves of Black Lives Matter protests sweeping the continent." wrote reporter Ryan Thorpe.
But a reader would have to read the continuation of the story on an inside page to discover the relevant "facts" about the arrest.
Paragraph 9 - The "suspect" bear sprayed four police officers who drove up to investigate a report of a man and woman fighting.
Paragraph 27 - the police needed attention from paramedics.
So having incapacitated police the "suspect" ran as fast as he could to escape. One of the officers got into a cruiser car, protecting himself (or herself) from further assault from the bear-spray, chased down the fleeing man and pushed him into a wall so he could be subdued and arrested.
Oh, paragraph 17 in the 42 paragraph story mentions that the man is charged with 15 criminal offences, including four of assaulting a police officer.
And the other 11? Did the other charges include domestic assault? Or breach of probation? Or outstanding warrants?
Irrelevant details to the narrative.
The hiring of four reporters based on the colour of their skin should be a warning to the other reporters on staff. Their careers are at an end. They will never be promoted over the black employees. Editors will never be allowed to judge the work of the black reporters. The narrative shall prevail, even as talented reporters head for futures elsewhere and the mediocre accept their role submissively.
As for the newspaper itself, well...
The Free Press is constantly begging for subscribers. Where once readers had no choice but to accept the biased reporting, once they found alternatives on the Net they abandoned the FP in droves.
Where did you all go, lamented the newspaper's editors and owners, unable to fathom that years of insulting conservative Manitobans as stupid, backward, and, yes, racist wasn't the way to build readership.
The paper became a penny stock as well as a laughing stock.
Now those same editors and owners think the remaining readers will pay for a newspaper that
- calls them racists,
- their relatives racists,
- their ancestors racists,
- their heritage racist, and
- their children in need of state re-education to save them from becoming racists like their parents.
Yeah, that's going to happen.