JoeyColeman.ca

Hi, I'm Joey Coleman, a journalist in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada who is a open data activist, engaged citizen, and proud blogger. This is my personal website, or the place I try to break the Internet

Snow Storms and Perfect Attendance

There are two tough winters that I can instantly recall the year of, 1992 and 2004. 2004 was cold, very cold, Hamilton's modern record low temperature of -30C was recorded at Hamilton Airport on January 16, 2004. I remember day-after-day of cold, layering my uniform jackets, and still being cold. 1992, I remember it for the number of storms, the wind, the cold, and the one day I was one minute late for school. I loss my perfect attendance. This was a big deal to me, I hadn't been able to get perfect attendance because of moving between schools during the year. 1992, we'd already had many snow days when the storm I remember was raging. It was windy, very...

The Moon Missions as a Child of the 80s

The 20th anniversary of Apollo 11 occurred when I was age seven; only three years after the Challenger Disaster. I didn't grasp the significance, only recently starting to read full non-fiction books and National Geographic magazines. Sometime shortly after the anniversary, I got my hands on a National Geographic about the mission, which included an audio record recording of the mission. I used my grandmother's record player to listen to that mission, it was fascinating, man on the moon, technological achievement, anything was possible. I was mesmerized, reading every book I could get at the school library about the moon landing. It was Apollo 11 that gained all the attention, it was Apollo 11 which was subject of all the...

Words for Journalists - like me - to Live By

From Gary Abernathy, as published by The Washington Post:Thomas Jefferson famously wrote,  “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government  without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not  hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” The biggest danger to  Jefferson’s preference is not Donald Trump. It is the self-destructive  habits of modern journalism itself. That it is better to be right than  to be first is a concept that, in the Internet age, seems as quaint as  Jefferson’s quill pen.Jefferson could not have  conceived of a BuzzFeed and the infinite landscape of constantly updated  digital platforms, or the 24-hour cable news cycle. But all who aspire  to be part...

How Do I Respond to Radical "Populism" Which Exploits Social Angst

The rise of extremist is distressing. Good people, people I know have lost their way, are vacuumed into extremist. Why? It promises a relief valve to the angst of precarity which inflicts the working class and marginalized people in our society. The purity and simplicity of extreme ideologies fulfilling a need for purpose, a need to feel empowered, the need to feel some dignity. Extremist is not providing solutions, and in many cases will worse the very precarity which needs solving. I can only minimally fault the people I know, the people who I've known as good, for turning to extremism. The leaders in our society are failing to address precarity, are failing to address the challenges society is facing,...

Have You Not Driven in Snow Before?

I finally did it, I finally had a complete uncontrolled wipe-out on a Sobi Bike. The wipeout was entirely of my own fault and doing. It was a light steady snow today, the kind that makes roads slippery and covered in slush. There's just enough snow on the ground to shovel, and not a flake more. Saturday late morning, I mount the bike and try to enter the roadway accelerating at the same time. I turn the front handle bars, as I would normally do, and the backend came out from underneath me. I'm now sliding along the bike lane. Thankfully, the same slush that cause me to loss control of the bike is cushioning me from the friction of...

Jeff Jarvis on The Spiegel Scandal

A good take from Jeff Jarvis on the scandal at one of Germany's flagship The Spiegel following the revelations that the news magazine's top reporter, Claas Relotius, was a serial inventor of stories - a fraud. He was the CNN Journalist of the Year in 2014, "Earlier this month, he won Germany’s Reporterpreis (Reporter of the Year)", and numerous other "prestigious" journalism awards. Needless to say, but worth noting for those who are not journalists, every journalist is award-winning and prestigious these days.  In journalism, the story too often becomes a self-fulfilling creation.  Early in my career at the Chicago Tribune, I watched a managing editor  write a headline — complete with victim and drama — and then direct his  investigative...

On Forgetting People from High School

It's happening more often, I'm encountering people I went to high school with, but no longer remember. It's been over 15 years, and this should be expected. Nonetheless, each time it happens, I feel guilty about not remembering. We're now at the stage in our lives where a few people who went to high school with us have died. During the Christmas Break, classmates return home, and news is shared.I don't remember the all the names, the people, yet I remain only a degree separated from them. It's fun catching up, sharing different perspectives of the past, and to try remembering that past....

It's Easier to Write About Others, Than It is Ourselves

My biography half-jokes that I write in "first person to ensure you can see my bias – I tend to like myself". I wrote that in part to make light of my discomfort with writing about myself. A discomfort that I was reminded of the past few weeks as I've been doing biographies for various speaking engagements in classrooms.This past week I had to do my final edits on a book chapter I've written about my experiences as a Hamiltonian, similar discomfort writing about myself. Thankfully this book allows me to write in first person.I don't know really what you call it, I'll call it irony. It is ironic that I'm very comfortable writing about others but never about...

The Crash of JoeyColeman.ca

Update your blog Joey, get back to the passion of blogging Joey! My internal voice tells me this numerous times each week. My poor orphaned blog, which crashed sometime in the past week or maybe month. Maybe if I were updating my blog, as I often say I will, I would've known it crashed. JoeyColeman.ca is back live, after a crash following a Ghost CMS update. Building a new instance of Ghost is now on my Christmas Break to-do list....