Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Young Journalists

Back in high school, I served as Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper. The Representative, Leduc's newspaper, even gave me an award for it; I only mention it because I just remembered that odd little fact. I don't remember why the award was given or if we published anything that merited the recognition, but I do remember the fun we had. The guy with the gun is British expatriate Jonathan Wright, a madcap fellow who was a whiz with the Apple Lisa pictured in the background. He handled a variety of tasks, from photography to layout, and contributed some of the newspaper's stranger articles.

I'm not really sure why I'm regarding Jonathan with such consternation - perhaps because he brought a gun to the Visual Communications lab? (It was only plastic.)

Years later, I ran into Jonathan at the Legislature Annex, where I work for the Alberta Liberal Caucus. I was surprised to learn that Jonathan was working for the communications staff of then-Premier Ralph Klein, and had even written speeches for him (see correction below)- just as I'd written speeches for Official Opposition Leader Kevin Taft.

The era of Ralph Klein and Kevin Taft seems like it happened decades ago, but it was only 2006. Time flies in politics - faster now than ever before.

As an aside, Jonathan introduced me to the Internet way back in 1986. It was he who showed me how to hook up a 300 baud modem to a computer to access Edmonton's electronic bulletin boards, or BBSes. Back then the text (and there was only text) loaded so slowly that most people read far faster than the data scrolled by. Nowadays, political communicators and journalists are bound together by the Internet, sharing scoops, spreading rumours and trading barbs in real time. Given the tone of most of these communications, it seems a mixed blessing.

CORRECTION: Jonathan himself emailed me to note that my memory is a little off. Jonathan wasn't writing speeches for Premier Klein; rather, he prepared media briefings for Klein, and later for Jim Dinning and Stockwell Day. He's since moved on. Thanks for the correction and for touching base, Jonathan!


Maurice Tougas said...

I love the seriousness of your photo. You look like your posing for a role in the never-produced series, Young Lou Grant.

Maurice Tougas said...

Oops, I just realized that should have been "you're". My bad.