Monday, 23 May 2011

Nunavut = Nunavut-Canada Gov'ts = Nunavummiut?

Perhaps I was a bit defensive over Jim Bell's editorial on the federal election results, which I commented on in my last two entries. I don't know.

What gets to me is when Nunavut (as an idea) gets picked on by Nunatsiaq News or the Globe and Mail or the National Post or other media as if it were one amorphous blob. I'd call this type of commentary "covert Gonzo journalism" because the writer often gives the impression that he or she is part of the story and community of Nunavut and therefore has unique insights into what Nunavut means and is about. They tend to write in such certain and earnest terms that is totally absent in the great Hunter S Thompson on which their type of commentary is based (ie, without irony if not sarcasm of gonzo journalism).

Scholastic derivative with a hint of gonzo is perhaps a more accurate description of these types.

Perhaps it is beneath the high and mighty Bells and Simpsons of this world but there is an alternative to this: Nunavut News/North. This paper actually takes pains to distinguish Nunavut that is Nunavut-Canada relations from Nunavummiut that is the community with all its members' faults, struggles, triumphs and aspirations (ie, Nunavut as a lived experience) whose editorial (in response to a series of articles in the Globe and Mail) recently said that:

"Dubbing the entire territory 'a culture of silence' based on a few local politicians' reluctance to talk to a southern reporter is not a fair assessment. Nunavummiut talk about their concerns often and at length when provided with a forum and among their peers. The reluctance to talk to southern media often stems from a fear of being misunderstood that [the southern media], with its broad assumptions, has done nothing to alleviate. Nunavut is a work in progress." (Finding our way, May 16, 2011)

This paper is actually interested in its community and dedicates much of itself to surveying what is happening/has happened in the Nunavut communities every week. In a word: it is unpretentious and written for the communities it's sold in. It presents Nunavut as a community not as a basket case.

Jay

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