Because my father was a reporter and a writer for the Buenos Aires Herald in the 40s I believe I may have always had some black ink in my blood.
For about 23 years my Rosemary and I read the New York Times (hard copy delivered to the door) for breakfast with the Vancouver Sun. I have now been enjoying the NYTimes on my own since Rosemary died on December 9 2020.
Sometime in the early 80s I started getting photographic assignments from the Georgia Straight and contributed for many years to the Globe and Mail and the Vancouver Sun.
It was around 1994 that I started contributing both photographs with my essays for the Sun.
Shortly before Editor-in-Chief John Cruickshank left the Sun for the Chicago Sun Times in 2000 I remember that he called me up and that he wanted to talk to me. I knocked on the door of the newsroom and he opened the door. With his arm on my shoulder he took me to his office. The next day many reporters and columnists called to find out what had transpired.
At that time, former Mother Jones writer David Beers was editing and putting together the finest Vancouver Sun Saturday section called Mix. I wrote quite a few articles for Beers. Cruickshank told me that because Beers’s Mix was so successful he was going to have him “Mix” the rest of the paper and that I would be getting more work.
That was not to be as Cruickshank soon left for Chicago. It is my belief that the Vancouver Sun started its decline then.
Now they do
not publish on Monday (that happened on October 17 but months before they had
stopped having an editorial page on Mondays). They unilaterally changed most of the comics. For me this means that a habit I had since 1975 is no longer one. I can now read the Sun in a record short time.
For many years the Sun and the Straight competed in having original illustration and photography. With the Straight gone there is no competition.
I have since found out that in the summer the almost empty Sun news room has the air conditioning turned off and in the winter ditto with the heating. This is to save money.
The writing is on a digital wall that soon newsprint will be history and the sale of budgies and canaries will decline.
But there is a tad of hope. David Beers is the editor of an on-line newspaper with lots of opinion and cultural essays called the Tyee. I have made a few contributions. While I miss getting my fingers dirty with black ink, the Tyee is a splendid newspaper.