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Straight from the source
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Straight from the source

The work of a journalist is pretty simple: we are a bridge. We gather facts and see things and meet people, and in so doing, invite others to know those things, too. The skill we possess is, mostly, an ability to take what we are given and refine it into a form that will best help people connect with an issue, an idea, or another experience of the world.

Still, there are times when a story’s essence is best captured straight from the source, without our intervention. That was the case in the Free Press this week, when long-term care operator Michelle Quenelle wrote a heart-wrenching plea to better support elder care in Manitoba. Hers is a must-read piece: honest and vulnerable and urgent.

And “urgent” is also how I would describe the words of doctors, who spoke to Katie May this week about feeling left in the dark as hospitals fill up.

This week saw one of the stranger stories of the pandemic, though perhaps nothing is strange when bureaucracy is involved: a Canada Post employee was sent home because his mask was too good. Free Press reporter Dylan Robertson eventually got the federal government to clarify that it was just a misunderstanding, but on Wednesday he'd still been docked pay on a one-day unpaid suspension. Thursday, though, Canada Post reversed its decision and allowed the worker to take the day as personal leave.

Outside of pandemic news, Dan Lett’s revealing piece on the abuse hockey referees face was depressing in part because it would have been just as timely years ago, and will likely still be timely years from now; it’s long past time for that to change. But if that’s the bad side of sport, the good side was on full display in Mike McIntyre’s reflection on the grief that has etched itself into the Jets’ season, and the ways they have supported each other through.

Oh, and if you haven’t joined the Free Press book club yet, this would be a great time to do so: this month’s selection is Moon of the Crusted Snow, an acclaimed post-apocalyptic novel from Anishinaabe author — and former Winnipegger — Waub Rice. There’s still time to pick up a copy and give it a read before Rice will join Ben Sigurdson for a virtual book club meeting on Jan. 31.

Until next week,

P.S. Another example of how Manitobans are taking care of themselves, and each other, and both at once. 

Melissa Martin

Melissa Martin, Reporter-at-large

Melissa Martin

Photo of the week

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Jeremy Stevens enjoyed a snow day from his work on Tuesday and headed to The Forks for some snowboarding with his dog, Taiga.

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