Frances Bula is leaving the Vancouver Sun â€“ and, more to the point, her blog. It’s a big loss for the Sun, and for those who care about Vancouver civic politics:
This will be my last post on this Vancouver Sun blog, as I have resigned from the paper.
I wanted to tell all of you, as I go, how much I have enjoyed this new form of telling you the news and how great it has been to interact in a completely different way with a crowd of intelligent, engaged and well-informed people. I donâ€™t want to say â€œreaders,â€ because that implies you are passive and the thing I love about the blog is that youâ€™re not â€“ you post comments and email and phone and let me know in person about other information I should have or your critiques of what Iâ€™ve written â€“ so itâ€™s more like a conversation where you learn from me and I learn from you.
Her blog post makes it clear that she thoroughly understands blogging – which makes losing her voice at the Sun doubly painful. And toward the end, she makes a provocative suggestion that journalists are the original practitioners of “citizen journalism”:
Journalists, through their professional organizations, have always rejected the idea that anyone should have to be certified or have to have a required level of education to work in the business. Thatâ€™s because of a fundamental belief that all citizens have the capacity to observe and report on the world, not just some elite class. So I encourage all of you to support the good parts of the mainstream media thatâ€™s produced by us citizen journalists who happen to be paid.
All of which means this last bit is encouraging:
As for me, I will be continuing with other forms of journalism, including blogging, but, unless thereâ€™s an unforeseeable turn in my life in the next few years, I wonâ€™t be embedded in a daily-news operation any more as I have been for the last 25 years of my life.
I’ll be looking forward to seeing what she cooks up, on- and off-line. In the meantime, thanks, Frances, for helping keep civic (and civil!) discussion going in this city – heaven knows we need more of it.
Some more reaction: