Tag Archives: Linda-Gyulai

Linda Gyulai’s big moment

“I don’t like politics.”

It’s an odd thing for The Gazette’s city hall reporter to say, but Linda Gyulai explains: her motivations are journalistic, not political. She’s not out there to sabotage the mayor (even though many on both sides of the aisle at city hall may think so). She’s not out there to stir up controversy. She’s out there to explain to people what goes on in their municipal government, both the things they want the world to know about and the things they’d rather keep secret.

If it means she ruffles a few feathers along the way, that’s part of the job. She doesn’t take it personally.

And if it wins her some awards, that’s just a bonus.

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Journalism’s feel-good story of the year

Henry Aubin has a nice piece in Thursday’s Gazette, praising a half-dozen investigative journalists as his persons of the year for uncovering corruption scandals at city hall.

There are two things I like about this:

First, there was no single newspaper, no single journalist, no single news agency that got the scoop. These are six journalists for five different – competing news outlets in Montreal, including the three paid daily newspapers not currently in a labour conflict (as La Presse’s Marc Cassivi notes, the Journal de Montréal contributed precisely nothing). They each uncovered another facet of the story. They each tried to get that “exclusive” badge of honour, but they also worked off each other’s findings. The competition among them produced a better story as a whole.

Second, it’s a strong argument in favour of professional journalism. Note that I use the term “professional” here, not “traditional” or “old”. Only half of these journalists are print reporters, and one works exclusively for an online publication. But they’re all professional. This is their job. (Here I differ with Aubin on an issue of pure semantics: there’s nothing about a blog that makes it unprofessional other than its reputation – it all depends on who is doing the writing.)

While I still think it’s unfortunate that Montreal gets so much attention but hundreds of other cities across Quebec get little or no attention from professional journalists, I’m glad the eyes of the people are on this one, at least.

So congratulations (in alphabetical order so as not to play favourites) to Fabrice de Pierrebourg (Rue Frontenac), Marie-Maude Denis and Alain Gravel (Radio-Canada), Linda Gyulai (The Gazette), Kathleen Lévesque (Le Devoir), and André Noël (La Presse). You did good.

(And then we went ahead and re-elected Tremblay.)

National Newspaper Award winners (with links)

Just like last year, The Globe and Mail came out with the longest penis at the National Newspaper Awards gala Friday night in Montreal. Canada’s national newspaper won six awards out of 13 nominations, followed by the Toronto Star (4) and La Presse and the Hamilton Spectator at two each. Seven other papers (including The Gazette) and Canadian Press each picked up a single award.

The Gazette won in the sports category for a column by Red Fisher on the retirement of Patrick Roy’s No. 33 jersey, specifically his unpopular opinion that it shouldn’t be retired. It was also nominated for a short feature by city hall reporter Linda Gyulai on traffic cones.

La Presse’s André Pratte won again in the editorials category, and Julien Chung and Philippe Tardif won in the presentation category, where the paper was nominated twice. La Presse had eight nominations total.

So let the bragging begin:

The Winnipeg Free Press was the only newspaper with multiple nominations (two) to be shut out of the winners category. Their story makes it clear they were hoping for something more.

And the winners are…

Since the National Newspaper Award website list of winners doesn’t include links, I’ve copied my list below from my post about the nominations. Winners are listed first and bolded.

Winners in the cartooning and photography categories are posted on the NNA website.

Multimedia feature

News feature photography

Beat reporting

  • Michelle Lang, Calgary Herald: health and medicine
  • Rob Shaw, Victoria Times-Colonist: policing issues (see “More on this story”)
  • Jane Sims, London Free Press: justice

Explanatory work


  • Steve Rennie, Canadian Press (listeriosis)
  • Linda Diebel, Toronto Star (insider stories)
  • Jeffrey Simpson & Brian Laghi, Globe and Mail (Prime Minister Stephen Harper)

Short features

Local reporting

  • Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer: Ontario Home Owner Employee Relocation plan
  • Gordon Hoekstra, Prince George Citizen: forestry industry in B.C.
  • North Bay Nugget: E-coli outbreak


  • Julien Chung, Philippe Tardif, La Presse
  • France Dupont, La Presse
  • Catherine Farley & Sharis Shahmiryan, Toronto Star

Special project

Sports photography

  • Derek Ruttan, London Free Press: Football fumble (second photo)
  • Tony Bock, Toronto Star
  • J. T. McVeigh, Barrie Examiner




Arts and entertainment


Feature photography

International reporting


Editorial cartooning

Long feature

News photography

Breaking news

Wikimocracifying Quebec

Saturday’s Gazette has a feature piece from civic affairs reporter Linda Gyulai on Julie Graff and her Wiki Démocratie party (which, despite its name and look, uses a website that is not a wiki). She wants to become mayor of Quebec City so she can, among other things, use its employees’ pension plan to buy an NHL team and bring it there.

(The story is illustrated in the paper with a photo from Francis Vachon. He has another version of the profile shot on his blog.)

STM to add Habs West Island shuttle bus

Thanks to Linda Gyulai’s most excellent CityHallReport Twitter account for tipping me off to the fact that starting Tuesday, the STM will be offering a shuttle service for Canadiens fans in the West Island as part of a partnership with the team and its The Goal is Green campaign.

It’s a one-way shuttle, leaving the Bell Centre 15 minutes after home games, and dropping off at “three specific locations”: Dorval, Pointe-Claire and Fairview.

Regular STM fares apply.

Speaking of the Canadiens, they’re looking for an in-game animator. Must be pretty photogenic and of a “pleasant appearance” and be fluently bilingual.

Gazette reporters look back

As part of its year-end filler special series, The Gazette is having its reporters look back on the 10 biggest stories of 2008, with an emphasis on behind-the-scenes reporter-as-the-story making-of stuff. Self-important, sure, but it’s the kind of stuff journalists themselves crave.

Among the stories is municipal affairs reporter Linda Gyulai’s reports on the Société d’habitation de Montréal and the Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal, which merged and went private and had all sorts of shaky land deals and stuff. Dry as all hell, but important backbreaking work. As with many such stories, this one started with prompting from an anonymous source.

La Presse, Gazette up for National Newspaper Awards

It’s that time of year again when the National Newspaper Awards sends out a press release with a list of nominees, and each newspaper writes about what they’ve been nominated for.

The Globe and Mail far and away leads the pack with 15 nominations in various categories (including a sweep of the international reporting category), more than the entire Canwest chain combined. Following it is the Toronto Star with 8 nominations, La Presse and the Citizen with 6 each, and then the leftovers.

The Toronto National Post has only two nominations.

Here’s how Montreal did:

Also of local note, Globe photographer Charla Jones, nominated in the Feature Photography category for photos she took of Leonard Cohen in Montreal as part of this audio slideshow.

I’m still waiting for my NNA for my tireless reporting about local activities and blogs.

Bus plans have good ideas and stupid gimmicks

The Gazette’s Linda Gyulai has a good run-down of the city’s transit plan for buses. Bus routes aren’t sexy like trams, metros and bike lanes, but they get the job done, transporting more people than any other method of public transportation.

Broken down, the measures fall in three categories:

Adding more buses

  • Increasing the fleet from 1,600 to 2,100 buses (which means a lot of bus-buying if they’re going to replace the death traps currently on the road)
  • Adding articulated buses on busy major routes (that don’t involve too many turns)
  • More express buses
  • Extending rush hour. This one just makes sense: How many times have you had to rush to make the last rush-hour bus of the day, or decided to travel during rush-hour mainly because wait times would be at their lowest? Making rush-hour-style service available all day will take pressure off rush-hour service.
  • Smaller buses for smaller areas. Currently they use a minibus in Ste. Anne de Bellevue (251) because the streets are so small.
  • More buses to the West Island. (Let’s just start with an all-day shuttle to the metro, and then take it from there.)

Making buses run faster

  • “Bus Rapid Transit”, basically a cross between an Ottawa-style transitway and a regular reserved bus lane. Right now they’re just talking about this on Pie-IX Blvd., where the old reserved centre lanes and stations on the median still stand unused.
  • More reserved lanes on major thoroughfares like St. Michel, Beaubien, Rosemont, Notre Dame, Sauvé/Côte-Vertu, St. John’s and Pierrefonds, where traffic is high and buses take a lot of passengers
  • Introducing special limited-stop routes (the article says they would be marked with an X like 67X, which would be confusing because such numbers are already used to indicate short-stop and school extras)
  • Reserved lanes on highways (badly needed for buses like the 211).

Cool technology and gimmicks

  • GPS technology on buses which will allow announcements on the bus and displays at bus stops to show when the next bus will arrive in real-time. (This sounds great and all, but considering this isn’t even done in all metro stations yet, maybe we should start there?)
  • Redo seating arrangements on buses to “create more room”. I guess this means more standing room, with fewer seats, which I think is a bad idea to encourage transit use.
  • More bus shelters
  • Free transit for university students. Funny, we usually hear this one from students trying to get elected. It usually involves imposing a huge tax on all students (regardless of whether they’d use public transit) that’s less than the cost of the passes to make up for the revenue shortfall.
  • More “seniors” buses, which have already proven a stupid idea.
  • A “shuttle service to Mount Royal Park”. There is one already. It’s called the 11. Problem is it only runs every half hour.
  • Biodiesel and “ecological driving” for the PR points.