The Poynter Institute, a Florida-based journalism school respected in the industry for promoting  "the kind of journalism that enables us to participate fully and effectively in our democracy," has issued its annual awards for best and worst media errors and corrections of the year. Nova Scotia did not escape the list. The Halifax Chronicle-Herald won Typo of the Year for this published account of its own success at the Atlantic Journalism Awards: "It’s always notable when a paper misspells its own name," the Poynter judges said. "It’s even more notable when a paper misspells its own name in an article celebrating recent awards...

On Monday, Contrarian voiced skepticism about a Digby couple's claim that wind turbines had decimated their their emu flock. Andy MacCallum, vice president of developments for Natural Forces Technologies Inc., a company that helps develop small wind projects in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and British Columbia, responds: I worked on a wind farm in Western Australia a few years ago called Emu Downs Wind Farm. An emu farmer was the major landowner for the project. The emus loved the turbines, and would gather at the turbine bases as they provided shelter from the wind. This is, of course, merely an anecdote, just as...

As recounted here last August, John Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox, bought another great Boston institution, the Boston Globe, for just $70 million. That's $1.13 billion less than the New York Times paid for it 20 years ago. The Times retained the paper's $110 million in pension liabilities, so you could say the price was negative $40 million. So grim are the economics of newspapering in the 21st Century, lots of industry watchers thought Henry was nuts. Late last month, he took to the paper's editorial page to explain what motivated him. I have been asked repeatedly in recent weeks why...

From a September 9 Facebook post by David Rodenhiser, marquee columnist for the Halifax Daily News until its demise in 2008, now toiling for Nova Scotia Power's communications group. In the Obituaries section of the Chronicle-Herald there are notices for no fewer than six veterans of the Second World War: Joseph “Bunny” McLaughlin, army, who brought home a war bride in 1946 Jaleel “John” Laba, army, who later owned and operated Laba’s Discount on Gottingen Street for many years Stanley Cairns, merchant mariner George Haliburton, army Adele Healy, RCAF secretary Walter Shaw, army, wounded in Germany in 1945 There’s also an obituary for Cecile d’Entremont, who passed away...

On Monday, CBC reporter Phonse Jessome recounted sensational excerpts from what purported to be a confession by one of the fishermen accused of killing Philip Boudreau June 1. He supplemented his reporting with editorial comments that portrayed the killing as an unfathomable escalation of a feud over "fishing territory." Based on widely known but lightly reported facts, the escalation is not unfathomable. To portray it as arising out of a "feud" over “territory” is to adopt one side in highly contentious matter. Tuesday, while reporting a brief court appearance by the accused men, Jessome added more editorial commentary, stressing the trauma experienced by the Boudreau's family, portraying defense...

Sounding old before her time, Marilla Stephenson follows up the Chronicle-Herald's ringing endorsement of the status quo with a ringing endorsement of middle class sensibilities. The protesters just had to go. They just had to. There had been an overdose in Vancouver or something. Enough is enough. To this we respond: Dear Marilla: You walk into a room With a piece of paper in your hand. You see somebody naked, And you say, "Who is that man." You try so hard, But you just don't understand. Do you, Mrs. Stephenson? With apologies to Robert Allen Zimmerman. Cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon, on the other hand, gets it right....

The Halifax Chronicle-Herald and AllNovaScotia.com, ranking arbiters of mainstream opinion in Nova Scotia, lent editorial support Monday to Mayor Peter Kelly's forcible police removal of peaceful Occupy Nova Scotia protesters. The Herald, in a bracing throwback to its days as the fusty Old Lady of Argyle, approved the eviction in every detail: violence, secrecy, sneakiness, double-dealing, rights-violation, and even Remembrance Day timing. AllNS tried to have it both ways. A commentary* by former-Managing-Editor-turned-United-Church-minister Kevin Cox quibbled with Kelly's timing and secretive decision-making, but endorsed His Worship's position that a vague and rarely enforced municipal bylaw should trump Sections 2. (b), (c),...

The reliably sage Jim Meek comes a cropper this morning with a column plucking nits off Canada's medical marijuana policy. The occasional Herald columnist, Nova Scotia's best, professes shock that the number of Canadians with federal permission to smoke dope for medicinal purposes has swelled to 10,000. Well, that's 0.03 percent of Canada's population, or about the number who support Elvis for Prime Minister—not exactly a blown floodgate. Nor is the other number Meek decries, the 1,400 Canadians who received permission to grow the drug after Ottawa proved incompetent to deliver reliable quality. Along the way, Meek finds one grower who...

The unprecedented rise in support for the NDP is provoking a lot of reaction from various thoughtful observers. Here's a compendium. From Frank Graves of Ekos Research, author of yesterday's dramatic poll putting the NDP in second place nationally with a projected 100 seats, in a live chat this morning at ipolitics.ca: Nothing is absolutely ruled out. But I think the public is answering Mr. Harper's request for a majority with a pretty clear "No." The intricacies of vote splitting might confuse this as late campaign shifts, but at slightly under 34 points, the Conservatives are well short of a majority. In...

Another media outlet has presented admiring coverage of the campaign by Halifax restaurateur Lil MacPherson and Halifax actress Ellen Page to oppose something one might expect environmentally conscious citizens to campaign for: the productive recycling of composted human waste as a worthy alternative to dumping it, semi-treated, in the ocean. A Contrarian reader describes today's Herald story as: One-sided journalism at its worst. Lil MacPherson is not an environmental scientist. Ellen Page is not an environmental scientist. Nowhere in the entire story is there any effort to present the case in favour of biosolids. Even the headline “Rising in defence of province’s...