13 May 2016

The Web is peering further into the past

It's interesting what you stumble across these days when you're searching on the Internet. I've known for years that the fact I lived in Acton means that all my family history as reported in The Acton Free Press in those years is now completely online. That is embarrassing enough, but I have discovered that another year in my life later on is available for viewing as well.

I've never hidden the fact that I attended Carleton University for a year after graduating from Acton High, but have never bothered to mention it on my résumé. After all, you only mention the places you graduate from! I have essentially treated it as my "gap year" before going to Sheridan and later heading into the business world.

However, I was a reporter with The Charlatan while I was living on campus, and all the work I did is available for the world to see. All you have to do is click on the link at the bottom left corner of the above image, type "Ellerby" in the search box, hit "Go" and see what pops up.

The first few issues see my name misspelt as "Ron Ellery" in the masthead, but then I started getting bylines and conducted some interesting interviews, including one with the eventual winning candidate for the presidency of the Carleton University Students' Association. Towards the end of that year, I was even editing the events section and working on layout at the printers. And now it can be verified by the entire world!

Since then, I have always had a great appreciation for the work of the media, especially for those in print. Perhaps that could have been a better calling? Who knows? I chose to pursue accounting as I thought it represented a similar quest for the truth, but, sadly, I have tended to be in the minority as far as that group has been concerned. Perhaps I was ahead of my time, as there appears to be greater emphasis these days on encouraging professional skepticism, as well as levying real penalties on those who cross the line. However, there has always been an undercurrent of power relationships and backroom politics in the profession that will still take a major effort to overcome. Those stories, however, are for another day.

For now, though, take a look back at what a bunch of intrepid reporters for a minor student newspaper were up to in 1972-1973.

NB: A version of this article appeared in my personal blog on Wordpress. However, the ability to embed the webpage above was lacking, so I have posted it here as well. Besides, Blogger is aimed at a somewhat different audience that might find it interesting.