I have been a tad harsh on the Enterprise Bulletin and its managing editor since Scoop left. So I decided to bury the hatchet and see if we can get to know Paul Brian a little better. I asked him 10 questions via email. The following are his responses:
1. Why did you decide to move to Collingwood?
PB. I was offered the position of editor in Collingwood while visiting my sister in Geneva, Switzerland. The chance of valuable new experience led to me accepting the offer.
2. Where had you worked prior to your current position at the EB?
PB. My journalistic journey per se began volunteering for Rogers TV in 2010 (I already had an English Literature degree from Carleton University but it hadn’t led to much). I worked as a volunteer shadowing reporters and shooting baseball and sports and loved it. Journalism offered me what I’d been looking for: a chance to collaborate with others to cover the events and facts that people want to know. I went on to Fanshawe College in London, Ont. and got a degree in TV news broadcasting. From there I interned for two think tanks in Washington, D.C. where I had the chance to shoot an interview with presidential candidate Herman Cain, cover a speech by Hillary Clinton and learn the ins and outs of Capitol Hill. After D.C. I returned to Canada but US experience wasn’t what networks wanted. I worked in a car parts factory on night shifts and although I met some good friends there I decided to go overseas on a volunteer program to teach English in rural parts of the former-Soviet Republic of Georgia south of Russia. It was the best experience of my life meeting the amazing people in my village, teaching elementary students and becoming part of a host family and learning about the rich national culture. I also filmed a documentary available online called This is Georgia. My experience got me a job back in Canada with Sun Media working in northern Saskatchewan four hours north of Saskatoon at the now-defunct Meadow Lake Progress where I had the chance to work with the very-talented and knowledgeable editor Omar Mosleh who taught me numerous things about journalism as we worked to cover the issues affecting the local communities. Unfortunately the paper was shut down for financial reasons and I was then sent to Alberta where I worked at the Drayton Valley Western Review where I worked under the expert direction and help of editor Courtney Whalen but eventually left back for Barrie to pursue other opportunities. These other opportunities led back to Georgia and eastern Europe where I returned and ended up freelance reporting for BBC, Foreign Policy magazine and Roads & Kingdoms. I received an offer via e-mail for the Collingwood position while in Georgia and upon visiting my sister in Switzerland decided to accept.
3. How are you liking our town so far?
PB. Collingwood is a nice place. I’d only been here once before with a friend three years ago who is engaged to a guy from Singhampton. We bowled at Georgian Bowl and went night skiing with her fiancée and his dad at Blue Mountain. Then I went here one other time with my mom where we read about Collingwood’s impressive nautical heritage. Good place to be.
4. What are your hobbies, sports etc.?
PB. I have played almost every sport. When I’m not writing your newspaper I currently enjoy lifting weights, playing piano and banjo and writing poetry. I also watch the news on TV a lot and listen to music from a lot of different cultures and enjoy learning languages.
5. What do you think of the current and past political situation locally?
PB. I am awaiting the outcome, if any, of the OPP investigation. Collingwood’s political situation is fairly intense although to be quite frank I find some of the squabbles and ongoing conflict in local politics to be rather discouraging. There are bigger things going on. Let’s get along.
6. I hear constant complaints about the EB online content and how difficult it is to access local news and content since last summer. Any comments or opinions on that subject?
PB. All unfiltered local content can be accessed by clicking on the ‘Local’ tab on the website, but that we have little control over what national content Sun Media deems most important to show on the front homepage of our website. Also the website automatically organizes by date (newest content moves to the top automatically regardless of who posts it)
7. Your predecessor Ian Adams (Scoop) had some pretty big shoes to fill. What advice did he give you when he handed you over the reins at the EB?
PB. He gave me the password to the E-B Twitter and bought me a Sprite at the Huron Club. I think he also wished me good luck, too.
8. Staying on the same lines as the previous question. Scoop did not have a problem calling things as he saw them politically in town. Do you intend to continue on that tact no matter who you offend or upset?
PB. I’ll report the news. If political developments that are reported offend anyone that will not detract from accurate and forthright reporting of facts and occurrences. My job is reporting the news regardless of how it’s received and that’s what I intend to do.
9. What happened to Ian Chadwick’s column last week?
PB. Matters between columnists and the E-B are confidential, however the E-B welcomes all opinions.
10. Leafs, Habs or ??
PB. Canucks (Yes, one other Canucks follower in Collingwood).