Guelph Mercury becomes suddenly assertive

Media Watch

Like bombs bursting in air, the mighty Mercury awoke this week from its long sleep covering city hall to discover events that stirred the editor to publish two critical editorials.

It is an event of historic proportions, as I cannot recall in recent memory, the Mercury being critical of the current administration on its editorial pages. I wrote a column on those pages every third Saturday for five years that was critical of the Farbridge leadership.

Managing editor Phil Andrews took the unusual step of acknowledging there are other voices in the community who articulate the warts of the current administration.  To suggest that those critical of public affairs and trust management, address the issues as “a hobby”, is like telling journalism icon H.L. Menken to shut up.

It’s not a hobby Phil, it’s a cause.

People are becoming more concerned about the way their city is being run. There is plenty of evidence that the city authorities massage the news to make them look responsible and innovative.

There are too many instances ignored by the mainstream media that have cried out for detailed explanations from city authorities when things go wrong.

The Mercury lacks critical purpose and it shows. But keep the faith. Things are going to get warmer and more interesting as time wears on.

As Pogo reflected in the Okeefenoki swamp: “We have seen the enemy and they is us.”

Gerry Barker

Editor –


Filed under Between the Lines

2 responses to “Guelph Mercury becomes suddenly assertive

  1. turningthecurve

    Is unpaid civic engagement now “a hobby”? Is civic engagement more legitimate when it happens as a business?

    • Craig: Great point! We in the unfettered world of civic engagement have more freedom to responsibly report and comment on all matters civic and outside the realm. The hired guns of the mainstream media do not share the same freedom of expression. I’ve been on both sides and understand the differences.

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