> the vagaries of local news

the vagaries of local news

2010-01-26 - jjackunrau

Wow, two Winnipeg Free Press mentions of the Millennium Library in one week. One about the wonders of the Local History Room, and one about bedbugs in the library.

I kind of wonder how the timing on these two articles worked, as the bedbugs issue appears to have actually happened in 2009 (the article mentions a second bedbug being found in December). Did the Free Press know about the bedbugs when the entomologists were checking out the library and just hold off writing about it until after the nice piece on the Local History Room? Was there some sort of off the cuff comment made to Morley Walker while interviewing someone for the Local History Room story that didn’t make it into the article but was followed up later by Bartley Kives? Why exactly are two bedbugs from a couple of months ago news (apart from letting the copyeditor juxtapose bedbugs with bookworms)?

It’s also kind of cute how in the bedbugs story the library is represented solely by the manager of library services, who does the managerial kind of thing and downplays it. I mean, it’s responsible journalism and all, not causing a commotion about something that wasn’t a big deal, but it also makes it a very institutional story. If Kives wanted to have made it into a more personal story he’d have interviewed some patrons or front-line workers about bedbugs in the library. Get a lot more “Eww!” kind of quotes, I bet. But then I’d be making fun of it for sensationalizing a non-issue. I guess that’s what the Sun is for.

(Holy crap does the Sun’s local news ever suck. I suppose they wouldn’t really be covering the library unless the bedbugs were dog sized and mauling people in the local history room.)

bartley kives bedbugs journalism local history room millennium library morley walker winnipeg winnipeg free press winnipeg public library winnipeg sun