Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

The good doctor has lots of FB friends

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I was wondering how many Manitoba MLAs use social media like Twitter and Facebook to reach out to friends or voters. So I did a quick (unscientific) search.

The social network Facebook is definitely more popular among the people who work under the dome than the micro-blog Twitter.

Active Facebook users include the NDP’s Steve Ashton (401 friends), Sharon Blady (316), Erin Selby and Jim Rondeau (92), the Conservative party’s Ron Schuler (363), Kelvin Goertzen (659), Heather Stefanson (208) and Leanne Rowat (35), and Liberal party Leader Jon Gerrard (1,117).

A few others have signed up but don’t seem to use it much. In any case, they don’t have photos with their profiles.

On Twitter, party leaders Greg Selinger, Hugh McFadyen and Jon Gerrard all participate — at least through staff members. Steve Ashton and Andrew Swan had accounts in their names during the NDP leadership run, but they haven’t tweeted since. The NDP’s Erin Selby and the Tories’ Kelvin Goertzen are also on Twitter, but haven’t used it lately. Goertzen is very active on Facebook but doesn’t have his photo on Twitter.

Overall, Gerrard seems to be the most active user of social media among provincial lawmakers, posting his thoughts and listing his appearances regularly on both Facebook and Twitter.

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

 

 

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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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