Rhino's Ramblings - The Journey Continues


Robert Thomas

It came as a big shock to many MJ Independent readers this past week when Nick Murray, the second person at the helm, stepped down from editor of this publication.  

Around town I heard lots of comments about it but with that said MJ Independent will continue. 

The honest to goodness fact is former editor Nick has a young family and he simply hasn’t the time necessary to be editor as well as look after his family.

It’s a fact of you want to compete as a full service news source in Moose Jaw, or anywhere for that matter, you had better be prepared to have no life outside the paper. It takes hours and hours of work for little pay and sometimes from various quarters little appreciation. 

Making money in the Moose Jaw media game is not very easy especially with the changing nature of the entire media business. 

In some ways perhaps I never helped out in the cause to be economically viable because in Today's on-line world - it’s all a game on Facebook, at least - of Likes and Shares. The more Likes and Shares you can acquire the more you can tie it to advertisement revenue.

Media is a business after all and the Truth is a commodity.

As for myself I really don’t look at it as a game of Likes and Shares.

I’m not in the business to make money off of this site I merely write here to help shed some light on the issues around the City. Things which may very well only have a few readers interested but they are issues nonetheless important to people out there telling their stories. 

And yes it is true I concentrate a lot on Council and the goings on at City Hall. Things which believe it or not you seem to hear so often locally with five words in the form of a question – “When did they decide that?”

Sadly long after it is much too late to do anything about it. 

Does it endear me to the powers to be? Hardly. But that is the way that it goes. 

But with that said I always tell the City, as well as others, on things which might make them look bad I want to hear their side of the story or at least give them the opportunity to give it.

Personally I don’t care which way people vote on various issues but hopefully it is a better informed vote.

With Nick stepping down as editor he will still be writing and contributing here the things he enjoys writing about like music, sports and God only knows what intrigues some young 35 year old.

So people know I first met Nick just after I returned from the Donbas and the outbreak of the war there. I told him some of the things I saw, heard and smelt but other things although still vivid in my mind are simply best left there. Many of the things you may have watched on the news in Spring 2014 I witnessed first hand.

All I can say is after it all is I made friends there for a lifetime.

But as a person with a family I salute him for making the right decision. 

With Nick's changing role I asked around to other people who share their photos and stories to this site if they want to and have the time to would they like to do some of the things he once did? Unfortunately with their work, personal interests and education schedules they are unable to. 

So with Nick cutting back to be with his young family MJ Independent made the decision to sadly curtail or should I say limit coverage of certain larger groups in the community which have high profiles already. Certainly many of these organizations are main pillars of the community but in the big picture they already receive their own fair share of attention. 

Instead we are focusing on what we can in our interests, volunteer time and busy lives. 

I have spoken to a few community groups and I am hopeful they will contribute with their news I believe is of importance to Moose Jaw and area residents.

As for myself I am still working the City Hall and Council beat and right now highlighting some of the issues surrounding the City Budget. 

For many people it’s all boring stuff but for others it is intriguing to see where the money goes. 

With that said one major reason I decided to continue the site is I have been working on a series of investigative articles for months, which are not only time consuming but I believe also important in many ways.

People put themselves out there to tell their stories and I wasn’t about to let any of them down if I could help it. 

One of those reports I’m working on was actually being looked into by out of town media but they abandoned it due to their budget and time constraints. I actually spoke to the reporter who was working on it and he cannot believe I’m still at it 13 months later and I found things he never imagined. Countless hours of interviews, document searches and phone calls to get to the bottom of it. And more to go. 

You should have seen his jaw drop when I told him I’m also working on a story from over three decades ago from when I worked as a reporter -  getting paid -  with Thomson Newspapers right here in Moose Jaw and hoping to have it wrapped up in January or the latest February. 

I have been gathering files dating back so far there has to be a good inch of dust on them and certainly it’s leaving people scratching their heads why I would be collecting such bizarre stuff. 

But sometimes it’s the bizarre stuff which makes for a great story, or at least gives you an itchy nose from decaying paper. 

With that said I appreciate the feedback – whether good or bad – and community news is always welcome as the journey continues…

moose jaw