Saturday, September 15, 2012


That would be Rosaria at sixtyfivewhatnow.

Before I go any further, I need to set this in a bit of context. There is a magnet on our daughter's fridge door, which says:

I didn't say it was your fault,
I said I was going to blame you.

So, keep in mind that I'm imitating today's politicians, by not taking responsibility for my own behaviour. Hence, blame Rosaria. (Why politicians cannot take responsibility for their actions is totally beyond it. If they weren't proud of what they were doing, why did they do it?)

Anyhow, Rosaria recently raised an interesting issue. Is blogging a real "regimen." (Regimen being defined as a "way of life," among other things.) Do we live to blog, or blog to live, or a bit of both. To what extent are our lives directed by our blogging? Interesting questions, those. 

The final of five questions was the most interesting. What would I be doing if I were not blogging? The only thing I could think of was writing, somewhere or other. 

Having written to earn my living for a lot of years (30+), writing is natural for this Bear. That doesn't mean I'm a particularly good writer; it just means I do a lot of it. And I did, indeed, get paid for it. 

Which is why I'm involved in tying to start an independent news co-operative here in River City. 

Do you notice that television networks pretty much have the same news? That you get the about same stories on CBS, ABC, and CBS? That the same stories appear on local radio or television stations? Well, it happens. I know, because I was in that game for years. 

What would happen if you had an outlet which carried very different news, or news from a very different perspective? What if it reported on stories with which the "big stations" would not bother? You're starting to get the idea.

The Media Co-op is a national news cooperative in Canada, which publishes different kinds of stories all the time.  There are active locals in four Canadian cities, and "Working Groups" that are trying to establish locals in a number of other places. All in an effort to give people news they would not get otherwise. 

This is another project to keep Bear from being bored. A bored Bear in an unhappy Bear. An unhappy Bear is a dangerous Bear. 

But it is more than that. It is an attempt to see if we can sustain a solid, independent news outlet in River City (and thereabouts). It's a plan to see if "alternate" news is what people want.

Blessings and Bear hugs. 


Tattieweasle said...

As a writer of news myself I am aware of perspectives or more importantly the lack of them! Here in the UK we have lost a lot of small independent news and newspaper companies as well as a lot of journalists. We seem to be sleepwalking into a vacuum. What you are trying to do is brilliant! Good Luck!

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Great idea. Good luck!

The Broad said...

I think your plan is a wonderful idea -- alternative news. I look forward to hearing more about this. And well done, Rosaria -- I'm going to get over there and start catching up. It's so great to be able to comment again!

Frances said...

Oh, this sounds very interesting, Bear. I look forward to more developments.

Meanwhile...let me wish you a very ... Happy Birthday! Hoping you will make some wishes, blow out all required candles, and have those wishes come true.


potsoc said...

Talking about uniformity, even Al Jazeera English has the same stories and pictures than the BBC, CNN, CBC and Radio-Canada, not to mention the Montreal Gazette and La Presse.
"Un jour, l'ennui naquit de l'uniformité", old saying.

DJan said...

I think blogging is definitely a way of life. Look at the people I've met (like you) who would have remained completely off my radar! :-)

Diana said...

I think it's a great idea. I've always been interested in the news particularly the newspapers.
I've always enjoyed the stories that you don't hear as often. One of the reasons I like neighborhood papers.
As for blogging. I know I can live without blogging but I love to read others blogs the most.
I guess that would be reading news that you wouldn't hear about in the media as much! Love Di ♥

Rubye Jack said...

Blogging is very much a part of my life and a valuable one at that. I have learned so much more than I would have picked up on from the media.

Great idea Bear!

Rosaria Williams said...

Bear, it was really all your fault in the first place! I see how you act as a gadfly in all you do!
Now, I'm proud to be in such company!

p.s. I get my news from my blogging friends all over the world. I look forward to your cooperative!

Inger said...

All the best with that. I am looking forward to follow your progress. And thank you for your compliment on my missing my tooth looks ~ You made my day!

Chatty Crone said...

Well - you didn't exactly say you were going to do this - are you?

I do believe blogs are getting popular as a way to spread news.

Here in the US - the problem I have with the news - it's all slanted - and right now - not the way I want.

Hope you have a great adventure!

betty said...

I like the idea of the Media Co-op. It would be interesting to have things presented in a different perspective indeed!

Sounds like a great project to be involved in.

Blogging is something I find myself coming back to every time I think I'm going to walk away from it; I don't live to blog, but I do enjoy the interactions I get through blogging and meeting so many wonderful people that I would never meet any other way :)


ReformingGeek said...

Your idea sounds interesting. Good Luck with it!

A friend told me today to read foreign newspapers to find out what we are NOT being told here in the US. She suggested one of the British papers. Wow. It's a bit scary to think about this.

Blogging, for me, is a way to keep up some kind of writing skill and to entertain myself and hopefully others.

susan said...

I'm very happy you posted a link to the Media Co-op of Canada. You're absolutely right that there are big problems that seem to be insurmountable but when people are better informed about local concerns there's more chance for having a voice for change.

If good writing means getting your point across in a clear but gentle manner, you are a good writer.

Rob-bear said...

® Tattie Weasle: One of the things that worries many of us is the concentration of media ownership. That concentration effectively limits the possibility of discussing issues, because the information isn't available. This might be a small alternative voice.
Thanks for adding your observation.

® J Cosmo Newbery : Thanks.

® The Broad: Thank you for your support. I suspect this is going to be a long, slow process.

® Frances: Thanks for the birthday greetings. I trust you had a good time on your birthday, too!
I'll try to keep you advised about developments.

® potsoc: Merci. L'ennui is the last thing we need!
Al Jazeera English is one of the alternative papers I read sometimes. I need to check it more often.
Tony Burman, former editor-in-chief of CBC news went to Al Jazeera English as Managing Director.

® DJan: Thanks for your observation and kindness.
Blogging does bring so many interesting people into our lives. Like you.

Belle said...

I like the idea! Good luck with it. No one is happy who is bored. That's why I love reading blogs and writing them.

Amanda Summer said...

r-bear, i just finished watching a series on cable here in the states called "newsroom" written by aaron sorkin who wrote the west wing among other political dramas. the show is about what you refer to here - a news program that actually prioritizes what it believes important to report on, vs. what will improve ratings. makes for a thoughtful piece of tv.

as for blogging, the jury is still out on that one for me. i am still having trouble balancing between blogging and writing other work, but i can say for sure that i have truly enjoyed meeting many creative and intelligent folks through this medium.

Helen said...

Oh sure ... take the Bear's way out ~ blame Rosaria!

Seriously this is great.. if ever there was a time for alternative news ~ its now.

I just finished watching Network News on HBO ~~ can't wait for season two. An eyeopener for certain!!

Posie said...

How very exciting and opening a door on a whole new range of possibilities. Good luck with your exciting venture Bear.
I don't live to blog,,,,and have frequently 'slipped' off the blogging wheel recently, however blogging for me has given me a whole new perspective on look at life through different glasses when you are going through your day not just at first hand experience, but also as 'observer' for your has really helped me to focus on the positive, and has opened up a whole new community of lovely like minded people

lotta joy said...

The next time you're staring at magazine covers in the grocery, notice the headlines they all share. Notice how one will mention the new rage of "whatever", and the other magazine will have a similar article.

When one magazine has a special on breast cancer, so will the others.

That's because all magazines subscribe to a central computer news service that offers assorted articles for that particular month.

The television news is all warped in one direction or another. We watch the weather on each channel though, because none of the meteorologists can ever agree. lol

Anita said...

Newspapers, TV news, blogs, magazines, TV talk shows, newsletters, books,radio shows, etc. It all interests me. I call myself an information junkie. Even facebook is now a vehicle for finding out stuff.

You're already in the mix with your blogs. I say, "Go for it!" in presenting something fresh and new. :)

About Last Weekend said...

The whole tone in American - from politicians to parents - is about not taking blame, about being defensive. Noone here wants to say sorry, probably a fact of such a lawyer-drive litigious society.

ain't for city gals said...

Looking forward to seeing how you are going to do this,,,

Donna K. Weaver said...

Good luck with your endeavors, Bear. There's always a need for the Quibbler when the only other press in town is the Daily Prophet (Harry Potter speak).

Janie Junebug said...

I see your comments at my friend Lotta Joy's blog and some other places, too, so I came to check you out. I think I like bears. And I think I like a news organization reporting stories ignored by the Big Deals. I once worked at a small weekly newspaper where we reported nothing but good news. I shall follow you, and I'm also following your poetry blog.

Janie Junebug

Nancy said...

I love this idea! The paradigms are shifting and new ways of doing things are starting to emerge. You are on the leading edge of something of real value. Congrats.

kj said...

i'm late to this party but i'm glad to arrive.

great idea to prioritize news. by this i expect you mean GOOD news too, educational news, fascinating news. i hope you do this, rob.

as for blogging, i love my time blogging. i would miss every aspect terribly if i were to stop. for me, i write with some structure and routine because i blog. and i learn so much. all this said, i only blog for fun. never ever for obligation.

i'm still wondering if you knew renee. that would make me happy, if you did.


About Last Weekend said...

The only news I listen to is NPR radio. I don't do newspapers or TV news here in the US (except for NY TImes), way too warped and angry making.

Lydia said...

Marvelous, Bear!

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

I sure hope people opt for alternate news. We need to have some independent thinkers in this world where all is looking alike and all are following the same path. Good to know Bear realizes he is much needed. Keep on writing and searching for what's not mainstream!