Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

The editor chides me about Red Loin

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The editor gave me a bigtime chewing-out this morning, accusing me of shoddy journalism and of failing to do my research before writing a story about the U of M engineers' Red Loin magazine.

No, wait, tell the shop steward to calm down, turn off the alarms and sirens at the union office, order the union's lawyers to stand down. I said the editor, not THE EDITOR.

This was the editor of Red Lion chewing me out, the (partially because of me) now-notorious publication of the University of Manitoba Engineering Society.

Actually, despite what the editor says, I didn't write my stories on Red Loin based on headlines, I read the stories which accompanied those headlines and those illustrations. The Red Loin is the annual issue of the Red Lion which is apparently, supposedly, allegedly intended as entertaining humour.

I also went on-line last Thursday and read some of the Red Lion back issues from the late 70s and early to mid 80s, just before the archives disappeared from the UMES website sometime Thursday afternoon.

If anything, they were raunchier than this latest issue of Red Loin -- somehow, the word 'raunchy' seems far too tame and polite to describe this publication's contents -- and the homophobia in the content 25 years ago seemed to be acceptable and the norm to the editors of the day. But nothing has changed in the publication's approach to gender issues and to some men's definition of women's purpose for existing.

One quibble about our coverage here in the mainstream media -- Red Loin is not just offensive to women, it is offensive to both women and men.

Meanwhile, back to the editor........given that you're telling me how to do my job, and you're an exalted editor, after all, and as a reporter I am but a lowly proletarian drone, maybe you could continue to educate me here and continue to show me the error of my ways.

Since I don't seem to get it, and keeping in mind that I'm very old and very dim and not a male engineer, could you help me understand how publishing statistical tables about the average size of a clitoris, levels of vaginal acidity, and average menstrual flow measured in cups would be entertaining, humourous, and non-offensive?

 

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About Nick Martin

Nick Martin is the old bearded guy at the back of the newsroom, the most experienced reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press, having started his career in Ontario in 1971.

He’s been covering education for the Free Press since the spring of 1997, after decades primarily covering municipal politics, including a four-year stint at the Ontario legislature for the London Free Press.

Nick moved to Manitoba in 1988 with his Winnipeg-born wife, who is a professor at the University of Manitoba. They have two kids, both of whom graduated from Grant Park High School: son Chris and daughter Gillian.

Nick has won a national journalism award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, two Manitoba Human Rights Journalism awards, and the Ontario Reporters Association investigative award.

Nick is a long-distance runner, having finished and survived 18 marathons and 15 half-marathons and 30-kilometre races, and having (barely) survived 10 years as an outdoor and indoor soccer coach.

Nick became a soccer referee in 2007, delighting in his 60s in outrunning 16-year-olds and keeping his distance from obstreperous coaches and parents.

Nick and his wife have discovered a mutual love for kayaking at their Whiteshell cottage, and are both regulars at the Reh-Fit Centre. They hold season tickets to both the Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Warehouse, and as empty nesters, have rediscovered the joys of an active winter vacation.

A native of Jarrow-on-Tyne, England, Nick is a member of the Toon Army as a Newcastle United supporter, and a proud citizen of Leafs Nation.

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