Monday, May 20, 2013

If this post seems familiar...

Update 21/5/13: Since CBC hasn't bothered to change their misleading headline I was still able to get a screenshot today and add it to this post. I know they have received several emails (mine included) alerting them to the confusing use of "north end".

It would be because I wrote virtually the same one the other day. Is there someone new over at the CBC? Someone who has no idea how Winnipeg refers to its neighbourhoods? CBC has a story about a dog poisoning on their website that they seem to have had trouble figuring out where exactly it happened and instead resorted to a not-so-generic neighbourhood section of the city  Global knew that it was West Kildonan.

Screen shot of the CBC story
Winnipeg has a neighbourhood that goes by the name "North End". Which means that if you would like to talk about something that happened in the north part of the city you either need to mention the specific neighbourhood (either one of the 236 unique neighbourhoods or one of the two dozen or so more commonly used names) or say something like "on the north side of Winnipeg". Not capitalizing "north end" although technically from what I recall about writing does make it not about the North End, the neighbourhood, no one is going to make that differentiation. Especially if you opt to only use it when you mention something negative.

The Winnipeg Free Press published a great piece by Kevin Chief over the weekend that was an excellent summation of how many of us choose to see the North End. Of course, most of the city doesn't see our potential and our triumphs. Many Winnipeggers, and even Canadians, associate the North End with only things that are negative, like poverty, crime, and despair. I would be foolish to try to pretend that these things don't exist here, perhaps even in slightly higher doses than other parts of the city, but it shouldn't define us.

So, in Winnipeg, whether you say north end or North End, people think of the same place. A quick glance of the CBC website shows me that they haven't adopted some new policy of simply breaking the city into 4 - north, south, east and west - other articles mention specific neighbourhoods. So why, whenenver (okay, current whenever is based on the sinkhole story and this one - I don't have the time to go back and search for more errors - one is too many!) it's a negative story are they just skipping the step of finding out where it actually happened and blaming it on the north end?

With the recent murders in Charleswood (notice the CBC didn't call it the south end) I read many articles and saw mentions on social media that found neighbours to talk about how "things like this shouldn't happen in a nice neighbourhood like Charleswood" and so on. Newsflash: murder shouldn't happen in ANY neighbourhood. People in inner-city neighbourhoods are still mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends. No one deserves to be killed, so stop acting so superior people.

As an aside, thank you to the many media folks who have taken the time to watch what you write by knowing your neighbourhoods and mentioning street names and addresses rather than SCREAMING NORTH END and in an indirect way, helping to tone down the hate for the North End.

1 comment:

  1. At least this incident wasn't as far from the North End as a lot of other places referred to as the North End have been.