It is good to see you again.
Earlier this year, I was reviewing my portfolio and came to the realization that it’s been ten years since I envisioned and started The Newfoundland Inkslinger column series. I mulled it over during the winter and ultimately decided to revive it. I've considered it to be the pinnacle of my journalism career, and have always been proud of it.
Ten years ago in 2008, The Newfoundland Inkslinger came to life as a guest column published in the Lloydminster Meridian Booster (a Sun Media/Quebecor paper at the time). For about a year prior to that, I was writing a guest column series for the Booster called Navigating the Issues. I simply merged them together and kept going.
As a College of the North Atlantic (CNA) Journalism graduate with a growing portfolio, I was primarily working as a pressman in the Booster’s sheet-fed department. In June 2008, I decided to rebrand my series using a play on words. Inkslinger can be interpreted as another word for press operator. Navigating the Issues was rebranded The Newfoundland Inkslinger in July 2008 and was running for another couple of years before I returned to Newfoundland.
When its final column rolled off a physical newspaper press, The Newfoundland Inkslinger was based in Lloydminster, Alberta. Originating from the Lloydminster Meridian Booster office, the final column was actually printed on the Edmonton Sun press due to cutbacks. Cutbacks that forced the loss of many jobs. I was lucky enough that the axe just missed my neck on several occasions, but I decided to be proactive and look at other options.
I left Alberta in 2010, returned to Newfoundland, went back to school and shifted careers from the applied arts to environmental engineering technology. I've been told by many that's quite a move, but the hard work paid off.
While on my second co-op workterm in St. John's during the harsh winter of 2014, I received word from an old colleague that the Booster sheet-fed shop would be shut down on March 28, 2014. As twisted fate would have it, this would be the day after my father passed away.
By June 2014, I graduated from CNA in Corner Brook with a diploma in Environmental Technology. I arrived at Come By Chance in early 2015, and continue to work there to this day.
I've recently learned that the Meridian Booster was acquired by the Lloydminster Source in 2016.
My heart still beats to the rhythm of a newspaper press. I thought I put it behind me, but that was never true. Before the Edmonton Sun took over printing operations, it was always a joy to visit the Booster's web press area, particularly on days my column was published. To see it physically glide down the conveyor belt was an honour.
When I lived in Corner Brook, I contributed to Western Environmental Centre newsletters and local blog CornerBrooker.com, which now appears to be out of service (scroll down to previous post for article titles only).
The idea behind Navigating the Issues/The Newfoundland Inkslinger was to write from the point of view of a transplanted Newfoundlander out West, delving into local issues from afar and throw in some education for the Western Canada readers on Newfoundland culture and lore.
This new column, in contrast, will be here on the front lines. It is my intent to look at government policies from all sides, and attempt to balance things out. You can already presume that there will be installments that will cover ramifications of Budget 2016, Muskrat Falls, and so on.
I am self-publishing and will research, write and release columns on my own schedule. This should ensure quality over quantity. The regular in-depth column will be the major feature of the site, but the occasional news flash may be reported, giving me the opportunity to practice my journalistic skills.
This first entry is intentionally longer, but depending on subject, I’ll be keeping word length to a standard 500 if possible. Upcoming columns will be “advertised” on social media within 24-48 hours of publication.
I look forward to picking up where I left off with this project. Thank you all for your interest.
The Newfoundland Inkslinger is back. See you next time.