"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Traducer Confuted

Over the weekend, the Globe and Mail ran a feature – again, this time with video – on the trials and tribulations of the coastal Labrador community of Black Tickle.

The feature elicited an all-too-predictable response from the NewfNats:

A story about Black Tickle, Labrador on the Globe & Mail's website today, while the stereotypical "death of rural Newfoundland & Labrador" story we have been reading for more than 30 years in the mainland media, is actually is a stellar glimpse into the future of the news media… What makes this story interesting is not the cliche shallow reporting…
Perhaps Locke can point out some other examples of this “stereotypical” “cliche shallow reporting” he decries. The Globe and Mail, in particular, has, since the very early 1970s, provided some of the best in-depth writing on coastal Labrador, often better than anything produced by any local outlet in the province of which coastal Labrador is a part.

So while Locke, predictably, Must Confute Our Traducers, the reaction to it from the people whose story it is, is much more favourable, and more interesting. Via (emphases added):
[Ashley M.]: I just watched the video on Black Tickle twice. I think that it is absoulty amazing. Black Tickle is a beautiful place, with Beautiful People, all they need is a little help from the government to build a economy so that they won't have to leave home.. is that really to much to ask? If Black Tickle had water & sewer, and the road put through I know that the place will grow again. I love Black Tickle, and I know that some other people have got different views on the place, and thats their choice, but ask yourself... will you be ready to leave home when you just have too? you might say you can, but wait tell that time comes.. This is why you still have people there, it's there home, it's where they grew up and where they started their own families. When you go to Black Tickle, you will never see someone without a smile, everyone is as happy as they can be, just imagine how they would be if they had water & sewer, and a road put through.

[Ralph]: Thank You WJM for that video Clip of Black Tickle, sad to see how things are and that road may not help boost the economy for Black Tickle directly (or indirectly).

[Laura Keefe]: Comments: I just wanted to say THANK YOU to Ashley M for those beautiful words that she wrote about Black Tickle.....I couldn't have written them better myself. I was born and raised here in Black Tickle and I have seen Black Tickle at its best when the cod was going mad and I am still here now when things are rough and people wonder where the next break will come from. We do need help here, we need help from the Government to step in and say "THE PEOPLE OF BLACK TICKLE HAVE BEEN LIVING IN THE THIRD WORLD FOR FAR TOO LONG AND IT'S TIME TO MAKE THEM AN ECONOMICAL AND SOCIAL EQUAL TO ALL OTHER"! Makes tears come to my eyes when I think of all the people who have moved away and makes me proper cry when I thinks of the prospect that maybe someday I may have to leave too. My whole heart and soul is in this place and I can't even imagine what it would be like to wake in a strange town knowning that I could never go back or ever feel at home again. I know that a lot of people who live in Cartwright have ties to this place as well, like in Batteau, Spotted and Domino and I just wish for some miracle to happen to bring back the prosperiety that once was so second nature to this place. We need a loud and powerful voice to make the government see that we deserve what everyone else already has. I just wanted to Thank Ashley M once again for sharing those kind words.

[mac]: It is amazing that a news media on Toronto would take the time to acknowledge Black Tickle when you have to look long and hard to find mention of our Labrador communities in the Media in this province.

[Lillian Dyson]: just wanted to comment on the globe and mail about Black Tickle.................I really enjoyed watching the video clip and its contents by Livenda Turnbull, every thing in it was so true..... hats off to Livenda for genuinely speaking on behalf of the residence of Black Tickle, Black Tickle is slowly fading away yes but its high time the government stepped in and help the community to be a better place, but speaking on deaf ears, it probably will accomplish nothing, and once again Black Tickle will be left in the dark again, maybe Yvonne Jones will help as she is the only one left now in the government to do so, and we are only standing on one leg now as the government went PC, but you never know we are not dead and the community isn't either, don't give up it's when we are at our wits end that we receive help. Thank you for showing this Dean, it means so much to me.

[Billie]: I really commend Livenda Keefe for her comments of Black Tickle on the video in the Globe & Mail.
Not one condemnation of the Globe’s reporting as “stereotypical”, “cliche”, or “shallow”.

Instead of condemning the Globe and Mail for supposed failures in its reporting – failures that the people being written and video-journalled about don’t seem to be nearly as concerned about as Mr. Locke is – perhaps he could criticize those in government who, decades after the Globe and Mail first started writing about Black Tickle and other coastal Labrador communities, have done nothing.

He could denounce the provincial government for its cynical dealings with Black Tickle and several other Labrador communities, back in the 1970s, when the “Native Agreement” monies first started to flow. The province designated Black Tickle, and other places, as “native” just long enough to inflate the “native” headcount in Labrador, and thereby justify a larger cheque from the federal government – and then promptly turned around and dropped the designation as soon as it became time to spend the cash.

He could criticize the one glaring factual error in the Globe’s report, the implication that 3,000 people once lived in Black Tickle. They didn’t, even if 3,000 people, for a couple of years, descended on Black Tickle as itinerant fishermen during the last, gasping, glut of the Labrador fishery in the late 1980s.

Three thousand fishermen.

Not only from outside Black Tickle, but from outside Labrador.

Greg Locke gets three guesses as to where the overwhelming majority of them came from.

It’s so easy to confute traducers, especially Tronno Traducers.

It’s not nearly as easy, especially not for the Greg Lockes of Our Dear, Secret, Nation, to ask why it’s the Globe and Mail (Saturday Night, Canadian Press), and not the St. John’s Telegram, producing these features.

Nor to ask why their coverage has met with generally positive reaction on the part of the covered.

Nor to ask why, after nearly forty years, after the rise and fall and rise and fall of the (New) Labrador Party, and a Royal Commission on Labrador, and the Blame Canada Commission, the Globe and Mail’s early-1970s coverage of social and economic conditions in Labrador, or Barbara Yaffe’s in the early 1980s, or the pieces from the early 1990s, are as current as its 2007 version of the same, old, story.

And now let's go back to listening to Townies on the radio complaining about how the Outer Ring Road needs to be re-paved.


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