It is the sound of furball-inflicted cats. It is reminiscent of the unbidden noise from deep in our core on that fateful evening we tried mixing wine with tequila shots.
OK, I admit “yeg” is not a word you’d associate with a newspaper startup. But that’s the way we like to think of ourselves. As a newspaper. Solely online. But a newspaper, still.
As some of you already know, Yeg originates from the three-letter designation for the Edmonton International Airport: YEG.
But yeg, all lower-case, has also entered the social-media lexicon as shorthand for all things Edmonton. YegNews is not associated with the international airport.
But we certainly want to be associated with Edmonton. The name YegNews encapsulates our hopes and dreams; to offer Edmonton some old-school journalism in a modern format.
Oh, we won’t go all retro. No sepia tone photos, or fedoras with press passes in the brim.
Our look will be contemporary. Many of our stories will be short and in point form.
We’ll be on Twitter and Facebook. We’ll link to YouTube and to Internet music sites. But if you’re not into all that, no matter.
Our aim, ultimately, is to dig around our hometown for news and information. To shed light into dark places. To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
Some of you will remember that reporters used to do more of that in the old days, when serving readers was more important to newspaper owners than serving shareholders.
Corporate media owners in Edmonton and across Canada have downsized newsrooms to the point of the ridiculous. I’ve been warning people for a couple of years now: You can call a press conference, but don’t hold your breath waiting for reporters to show up.
Corporate newsrooms are damn near empty. This is a travesty. Journalism just isn’t a priority to stockbrokers or investors. But it’s a priority here. Our goal is to increase the overall amount of journalism in Edmonton.
Let’s be honest. Our beginnings will be humble. We are starting out small. Yet we are driven by two key philosophies: Journalism is important; and Edmonton deserves more of it.
YegNews will report on Edmonton, its institutions, its people, its independent businesses, its culture and its character. Edmonton is our obsession and our news beat.
We will be hyper-local. If we cover Alberta or Ottawa it will be from an Edmontonian perspective. We’re not taking on The Globe or The National. Nor are we trying to insult CTV, Global, CHED or The Edmonton Journal, whose newsrooms are diminished in size but not talent.
Nor are we against the community of local bloggers, whose ranks include some fabulous writers and analysts. But if there’s a weakness in the modern information framework it is in frontline reporting. Our goal, again, is to fill the gap with additional stories and columns on local culture, recreation, music, shopping, food, business and politics.
Let me add here that we aren’t all high-minded, earnest wonks and zealots. We don’t take ourselves that seriously. We will be shallow and silly at times. Occasionally, we might be a little naughty, or unkind to the city’s hypocrites and flim-flam artists.
Having said that, we do want to maintain a level of decorum here. We sincerely invite your participation and comments.
But we will do our best to halt the too-common descent into ping-ponging insults and character assassination witnessed on other online forums.
Humour is fine. A gentle dig is fine. Hell, immaturity is part of my personal style, man. But there’s a line. The law speaks to defamation. We not only want to follow the law, but also standards of civil discourse.
You can call someone on their argument. Just don’t accuse them of being a dupe, or a moron, a pervert, a scum-sucker, or a Tory shoeshine boy.
Respect, we realize, is earned. We hope to earn yours; just as we hope we might change one particular word association.
In future, when you hear the sound “yeg” we hope you won’t feel nauseous.