Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Of sweaty Mennonites and Rush's snub

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I try to use Twitter and Facebook to connect both with readers and old friends.

The balance is keeping my posts somewhat professional but at the same time personal.

Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.

I learn as I go and try to use my best judgment.

I do my best not to be critical (except CFL refs) and to treat everyone equally.

I also make a point of promoting The Winnipeg Free Press through my Twitter profile, the hope being it'll drive more readers to our website. Sometimes I'll even re-tweet the competition if they have a good story.

I also try to post on Twitter and FB stuff no one else, at least in my small world of Friends and Followers, is posting. It's mostly stuff related to the business I'm in or things I find interesting. That includes music I like and goofy stories from around the world.

The point is I try to keep a lot of my posts on a personal level, that I'm human, too. Here's an example of the kind of stuff I post: Pensioner jailed for attacking Hells Angel.

Others also walk that fine line when it comes to social media, including politicians.

Here's a sample of local, provincial and national politicians I follow on Twitter or befriended on Facebook.

In no particular order:

Manitoba Liberal Leader Jon Gerrard: He's on Twitter. Much of what Gerrard posts is also automatically fed to his Facebook profile. His posts mostly involve his work as Liberal leader and his thoughts on the Manitoba government.

Sample Gerrard post: "Legislative Committee - Manitoba Liquor Control Commission - questions about untendered contracts - and lack of real effort to reduce FASD."


Steinbach Progressive Conservative MLA Kelvin Goetzen: Goertzen is on Facebook a lot. He uses it not only to preach the platform of his party, but to share his thoughts on the Minnesota Vikings and family life.

Sample Goertzen post: "My flu seems to be turning into a fever. Worse yet, I have to be at the Legislature tonight to sit on the committee that reviews the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission annual report. I don't think a sweating Mennonite talking about liquor is a great idea."


Federal Industry Minister Tony Clement: Clement is on Twitter  and has a healthy following of more than 5,000. Like Goertzen, he also tows the government party line and but also keeps it fun.

Sample Clement post: "In other news I'm still bummed at Rock HoF's cold shouldering of Rush. Guess it's "be cool or be cast out"..."


MPP for Toronto Centre and former Winnipeg Mayor Glen Murray: Murray is on Facebook where he mostly promotes the Ontario government and the work he's doing as that province's minister of research and innovation. But he sometimes uses it to share his personal thoughts, such in August when his dog Cardiff died.

Sample Murray post: "Glad to be back, after an amazing cycling tour in France. Lots (to) learn from French cities about what Chris Tindel calls "complete streets". It was the easiest place to cycle. Given the health, economic and environmental benefits of cycling it is arguably the best transportation choice we can make."


St. Boniface Coun. Dan Vandal: Vandal is also a steady presence on Facebook, which he uses to connect with constituents and update his part in city politics. But the former boxer also has fun.

Sample Vandal post: "Prediction: Randy Couture gets drilled tonite!"


If there are other politicians worth following, it doesn't matter what level, or even what country for that matter, fire me an email or share them here.

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About Larry Kusch and Bruce Owen

Larry Kusch has been a journalist for 30 years, the last 20 with the Winnipeg Free Press. His is one of the newspaper's two legislative bureau reporters.

Raised on a Saskatchewan farm, he received an honours journalism degree from Carleton University in 1975.

At the Free Press, Larry has also worked as a general assignment reporter, business reporter, copy editor and assistant city editor.

Bruce Owen joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1990 after four years working in other media.

He's worked in a number of positions at the Freep, including pet columnist, assistant city editor and police reporter. Right now he takes up space at the Manitoba legislature.

Bruce is one of five reporters who won a National Newspaper Award for the paper’s coverage of the 1997 Flood of the Century. He's also the recipient of the 1996 Volunteer Centre of Winnipeg Media Golden Hand Award and the 1995 Canadian Federation of Humane Societies Media Commendation Award.

In a past life Bruce worked at YMCA-YWCA Camp Stephens. He has a blog where he and others write about camp and the people who worked and played there.

You can also find Bruce on Twitter where he posts and retweets all sorts of stuff.

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