Sunday, 26 December 2010

2010 Hits and Fizzles: The Fizzles

I don't want to end the year on a negative note so I will start by posting my Fizzles of 2010.

1. The Mayoral Race - Aside from the collapsing of the Metrodome roof I can't imagine a more drawn out, deflating sound than our 2010 mayoral election campaign.

Katz (correctly) assumed that if he ignored the fact that he was mayor for the past few years people would forget and treat him like the newcomer to the race.

The most telling moment for me was at the Downtown Issues debate where Katz touted the MTS Centre and Hydro Building as examples of Downtown's renaissance, (both projects started long time ago by a mayor far, far away). Past Katz promises such as reducing downtown business tax to zero and his waterpark venture were simply unspoken.

Judy, who had decades of experience in office, a Rolodex (assuming people still use those) full of the brightest policy minds to call on and months in which to plan an attack, floated out of the gate like a beach ball and just kept floating.

Around Downtown
Winnipeg Free Press' On-7 - Somewhere in Winnipeg there's a storage warehouse full of orange newspaper boxes.

Rather than take a lump and concede Sunday's paper to The Sun, the FreeP's strange, new Sunday entry seems to have dropped off the map. It was never substantive enough to put the content on-line and I can't imagine how little the paid circulation is.

I believe it was Policy Frog that summed it up early in its run as 'a commuter paper for a non-commuter town on a non commuter day'.

Winnipeg Stadium
The Stadium - I'm not going to single out and beat up on Asper. Cities need their ideas people and to dump on them exclusively is something that we have to move away from. The stadium deal shows us two of Winnipeg's great development flaws that get repeated over and over again, regardless of the proponent.

First off, something can go from being a peripheral need to a burning issue overnight throwing off, presumably, dozens of projects waiting their turn. From waterparks to police helicopters, multi-million dollar ideas can get a lot of traction in a very short time.

Dan Lett once wrote that to developers Winnipeg is a cheap, desperate date. The stadium deal lurched from St. James to Point Douglas to U of M as a 'must do now' project despite the fact that there wasn't a lot of substance or money behind it is just another example.

The sad part of it is that the Bombers are now saddled with a 50 year contract for a 'player' that's already suffered a few PR concussions.

Winnipeg Rail Museum
Alt Media - One Man Committee beat me to this one. Not a banner year for it at any platform.

Uptown, still great for concert promo and what's on listings, has the current affairs and editorial interest of The Coffee News. The Uniter,after revamping itself as "Winnipeg's Urban Journal" last year, seems to be carried in fewer places around town than it was. The Manitoban doesn't seem to even update their website regularly (that or the paper has gone monthly).

ITV Winnipeg has ground to a halt and Winnipeg First, despite a sputtering attempt in spring, has also gone into hibernation.

The only ripple in alt media this year was the cancelling of a KICK FM radio show that was everything that was bad about mainstream journalism, just magnified and filled with personal attacks.

Heck, even Curve 94.3 which you could barely call alternative, couldn't cut it and we have another adult contemporary music station on the way.

Parking Lot
Surface Parking - Yes, it got some attention during the campaign and the Free Press took an in-depth look at the issue but just a few weeks later Winnipeg's odd take that demolishing a building for surface parking is progress reared it's head again. Farewell Shanghai and a feather in the cap for the Chinatown 'Development' Corporation.

1 comment:

Marty said...

Those who recognized the successes of the alternative media this year, which included:

- saving Eliminator RC from a $1M expropriation for the Disraeli rehab project,

- exposing the 311 service interfering with the city auditor when taxpayers wanted to complain about the Assiniboine bike lane consulting contract being botched,

- detailing the failure of public consultations on Sherbrook, Berry and Assiniboine as admitted by the councillors involved and Maypor Sam Katz, and conducting the ONLY true bike counts this year

- reporting the harassment of the family of Louis Knizat bby the vultures of the Public Trustee's office,

- itemizing the widespread defective meters and destructive policies of the Parking Authority

- breaking news of MPI giving away a surplus building to a group with an inside track, and underreporting the value of the giveaway by $900,000

- showcasing the ONLY broadcast interview with the Hydro Whistleblower, and

- being acclaimed by CBC's James Turner in particular as having conducted the best coverage of the civic election (via radio),

- the hard work of many bloggers like John Dobbin who attended and reported on civic meetings all year long that the MSM ignored (ie Ross Eadie in Mynarski admitting to needing NDP funding to be able to afford to run),

- seeing 2 bloggers featured on MSM election coverage and now 2 more published this past week in the newspapers,

may disagree with your comments about the alternative media's track record this year, and in particular about a show on Kick-FM, your interpretation of the "style" of the broadcasts aside.