Peter Menzies

Peter Menzies writes on culture, media and communications. While he now works in the cultural industry and advises tech companies, he has in the past served as vice chairman of telecommunications for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). He was publisher and editor-in-chief of one of Canada's major daily newspapers, the Calgary Herald.

Bio last updated September 16th, 2021.

Peter Menzies

Articles by Peter Menzies

  • Journalists Hurting Journalism

    Those who moil in the media have always been privately infatuated with their own opinions, but the current cohort seems obsessed with telling the public what to think, admonishes former Calgary Herald Publisher Peter Menzies.

    In response, many reporters have heightened their professional conduct online - posting their work on social media and letting it speak for itself Just this past week, David Akin, Chief Political Correspondent for Global News, commented on a tweet from Ontario Premier Doug Ford regarding his governm...

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  • Post-Truth Possibilities

    Reflecting on a paper he wrote almost 10 years ago ago as a Senior Fellow for Cardus, veteran Canadian journalist Peter Menzies concludes that trust is adrift on a sea of lies but, hey, it’s still better to light a candle than curse the dark.  

    Ten years ago, writing a Senior Fellows paper for Cardus that forecast the dissolution of trust, common ground and, unstated but inferred, the intelligence media would require for their survival, I quoted Orville Schell, dean of the University of California at Berkeley’s journalism school, from an a...

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  • After the Flood

    The floods that plagued Calgary might be a distant memory for some but they remind one Alberta writer about the stark boundary between government and love of neighbour.

    And no one went faster than the people of the Hutterite colony near Cayley, just south of High River, where, within minutes of getting the phone call, Henry Walter called in the women to start making sandwiches, rounded up as many of the men as he could and made a beeline for High River And while Mo...

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  • First Human Beings

    The kerfuffles here and there in the days following the death of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher should prove to each of us the need for civility in "civil" society For instance, many years ago when I was an executive at the Calgary Herald at the time of former Canadian Prime Ministe...

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  • Ralph Klein and the Commonfolk

    So when dementia began to influence him a couple of years into his post-Premier life he would stand, hesitantly and most of the time alone at the fringes of public functions in rooms where no one remotely resembling Martha or Henry could be found Many words have and will continue to be written about...

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  • In Defence of Star Gazing

    Young people, you see, prefer to live in cities where, perhaps most profoundly, they will no longer be able to really see the stars at night Non-urbanites drive to the office, after all, in five to 15 minutes instead of an hour to an hour and a half which is, sadly, a fate common for far too many in...

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  • Broken Hearts Mend

    I recall wondering how the "system" could just plunk a woman who had drowned her children back into the neighbourhood and not offer some form of resource for the rest of us—at least those who didn't have a church to go to ...

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  • Lance Armstrong's Increasingly Popular World

    Is the employee who finally caves to peer pressure and mails it in because "everyone else is doing it" any less of a cheater? Or the job promotion candidate who casually undermines a rival with eyebrows and muttered questions about supposed personal life choices or imaginary drinking habits? ...

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  • Learning to Speak of Beliefs

    Some of these trends are long-term, others less so but their impact on society goes beyond mere language and deeply into culture, including faith backgrounds which inform people's most deeply held beliefs which in turn have a lot to do with how people perceive the world around them ...

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  • Window Taps

    I even remember putting my skates on for the first time upon arrival in Calgary and skating on an outdoor rink just like the one that taps on my window ...

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  • Means Something to Me

    And I concede that I may have missed something irritating because to the extent that I still have any influence in Christmas shopping I exercised it a few weeks ago ...

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  • Talking Points

    But all through those debates over what the appropriate balance might be, whether this commentator or that one was reflective of this or that point of view and exactly where the newspaper should position itself in terms of its editorial worldview, one principle was clear: never, ever, confuse your o...

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  • Twitter's Blissful Chaos

    Social media, primarily Facebook and Twitter, are increasingly influential in the world of journalism and public debate, although my own anecdotal observation is that Facebook remains a place primarily for social friendship while Twitter is where the real wars are fought If Twitter is a harbinger of...

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  • Grade Eight Debate

    By which I mean that I began to notice the baser tribal instincts that emerge within people in junior high school and articulate themselves in various forms of bullying and denigration of others in order to enhance one's own position and status within the clan do not disappear or, for that matter, e...

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  • Real People, Real History

    This is the domain of modern pseudo intellectuals who eschew rational debate by—based on no evidence whatsoever—insisting the entire story was simply "made up" (the faith that it takes to believe in a conspiracy of this size and complexity is breathtaking) ...

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  • Under 30

    But this year, there we were—the three incumbents—with my son and his wife, my daughter and a young man who wished to make our acquaintance, another young man whom we had housed during his transition to Calgary and his girlfriend—nine of us, in all ...

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  • What People Forget About Freedoms

    The purpose of the cartoon project—"The Face of Muhammad"—by Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten was in itself driven by the desire by the editors to make a statement about free speech after hearing that writer Kare Bluitgen was unable to find an illustrator for his children's book about Muhammad The p...

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  • The Pathetic Family

    Intact families (children living with biological parents) constitute a mere 34.3% of Canadian census families, while step-families represent 4.9% And—now I'm going way, way out on a limb—it's worth wondering that it is not marriage that they fear so much as it is divorce/break-up of families because...

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