June 15th, 2020 - Journalism
Why I (still) write
I am not retired. I did not retire. I have no plans to retire.
Let’s just get that straight, shall we?
In 2018, I took a voluntary buyout from Postmedia. But I never stopped covering politics. I have been writing regularly for the CBC, iPolitics and Alberta Views Magazine. Plus I have been continuing my weekly appearances on CBC’s Radio Active in Edmonton and The Homestretch in Calgary.
In fact, the number of my appearances on television and radio have increased to include more commentary on national politics.
I’m also continuing my public presentations on politics, both provincial and national. (For now, I do these online because of the pandemic).
I go to news conferences (again, these are done online). I talk with politicians and officials (at a distance or by phone) and hang out at the Legislature (virtually). I still manage to generally make a nuisance of myself. Just business as usual, despite COVID-19’s best efforts.
But because I am no longer writing a thrice weekly column in the Edmonton Journal, some people have assumed I am no longer active as a columnist/commentator.
There are those who have told me they miss my column (thank you) and there are those who would no doubt like to see me lay down tools. There are those who were irritated by my writings over the years where I argued, among other things, that human induced climate change is real, Alberta needs to overhaul its taxation system, and our politicians should stop offering simplistic solutions to complex problems.
On the two occasions I had a one-on-one breakfast interview with Jason Kenney after he entered provincial politics he asked me why I hadn’t retired. He tried to make the question sound as innocent as possible but we both knew what he meant. At a news conference last year, after becoming premier, he pointedly asked me which media outlet I was representing. I told him on that particular day it was iPolitics. He responded, “You just never retire.”
Once again, he tried to make the comment sound as innocent as possible but we both knew what he meant.
But he was right. I just never retire.
I am still writing and commentating in part because I worry about the future of the news media. For example, the number of journalists covering the Legislature full-time has dropped dramatically over the years. There are still talented and tenacious people in the Press Gallery. There are just fewer of them.
I am still writing because in this era of hyper partisan websites, questionable news sources and outright fake news, I think it important to present an informed and informative voice on politics.
I am still writing because I want to.
I was never one to promote myself but social media has made showboats of us all. I have set the engines on full speed ahead.
This website will be a clearing house of sorts, a place where I can connect you with my writings. A place where I can rant in my blog.
And a place where you can contact me.
This is where you can find me.
I am not going anywhere.