Favourite local publication (that isn’t The Uniter)
1. The Winnipeg Free Press
3. Border Crossings / The Manitoban (tie)
It’s fortuitous timing that the storied Winnipeg Free Press is the favourite local publication this year: this week marks the 150th anniversary of the newspaper.
According to the Manitoba Historical Society, the first issue of the first volume of what was then the Manitoba Free Press was released on Nov. 30, 1872. The 27-year-old William Fisher Luxton and his financier partner John A. Kenny purchased a hand-powered printing press from New York and set up shop in a shack near the intersection of Main Street and James Avenue.
It was surely a far cry from the present-day offices of the Free Press or the Centennial Con - cert Hall at Main and James. That day was a snowy -10ºC while the muscular Kenny turned the handle on the cylinder press, which by then was already archaic. Steam-powered mechanical presses had been the global standard for decades, but these scrappy Winnipeg upstarts were doing their equivalent of posting to the web with a tel - ex (Google it).
Since then, many local Manitoba papers have come and, sadly, gone. Winnipeg is extremely lucky to have a journalistic institution as old as the city itself. And as I sit here writing, at home on my laptop in my pajamas, procrastinating walking to the office in the snow, I think of that cold shack and feel very spoiled.
Editor’s note: In this category, the publication that got the most votes was, far and away, The Uniter. While we do appreciate the love, we do feel the need to point out that the name of the category does exclude us from contention. In the future, please spread the love to other folks putting out good work. If you love (or hate) something we’ve written, you can always send us a letter, an email or a social-media post!
Published in Volume 77, Number 12 of The Uniter (December 1, 2022)