Desk jobs have a reputation for boredom, but working on the city desk of the Free Press is anything but.
Boring topics are as unwelcome here as cold sores on prom night. We’re perpetually searching for content that is new, significant and interesting, which means the newsroom is often abuzz with brainstorming. It makes for a lively workplace.
The nature of the news business attracts people who are well-informed, creative and opinionated. Disagreements and profanity are common, sometimes loud, and usually ignored by people within earshot. The quest for compelling news content is partly motivated by personal interest because our livelihoods depend on deserving the ongoing attention of you, the readers.
But we’re also motivated by a higher calling: Manitobans trust us to tell the truth and to expose injustice. Many powerful people try to shade the truth, which is where the job gets interesting.
As an assignment editor, Carl DeGurse is approached daily by a parade of communication professionals employed by politicians, businesses and lobby groups who try to influence the truth told by the Free Press. Carl handles more pitches than a Major League Baseball catcher. He works closely with a team of skilled reporters and editors who get dog-on-bone excited when they smell schemes to dupe Manitobans.
In a lot of little ways, and occasionally in a big way, we get to tell the truth and seek justice. Not a bad day’s work.
Outside of the job, Carl is active in Douglas Mennonite Church, is a sessional journalism instructor at Canadian Mennonite University and is a volunteer board member of Canadian Mennonite magazine. He and his wife Lois have three sons who are all old enough to grow beards.
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