The negative tone of your magazine has alarmed me for many years, but a recent article has compelled me to write in. It is seriously as if your pages are increasingly just becoming filled with nonsensical rants, rather than sound news, informative pieces, or entertaining columns.

This one is about the stadium replacing the skatepark. This is clearly a topic for a disgruntled parent to discuss over coffee, not something that legitimately deserves a full page in a newspaper!

The stadium is a multi-million dollar legacy project. It will create hundreds, even thousands of jobs. It will increase Regina‘s stature, profile, and ability to host world class events. It will free up the land around Mosaic Stadium for hundreds of affordable housing units, something this city desperately needs.  It’s a sound economic investment in the future of the city and the province on every level… housing, job creation, retail investment, image enhancement, etc, etc.

To complain about three old buildings (one in particular), that should have been condemned years ago, seems just a touch short-sighted. Is this writer SERIOUSLY suggesting that the stadium project be shelved or moved, to preserve a rundown old building that generates no economic activity, to appease a small segment of teenagers?

I am all for skateboarders.  It is their fun, their fitness, and their recreation. They have over 2000 acres in the heart of Regina called Wascana Park in which to do their tricks and turns. There are 2 outdoor skate parks built specifically for them. I don‘t think anyone can say that there are not ample spaces in which to skateboard. The fact that they have had it this long just shows the feasibility of the building is seriously lacking.

It would be nice if your magazine would do more factual reporting and less incessant, ineffectual griping.  There are people who actually want to know the status of these types of things, and get no NEWS from your NEWSpaper.

I also feel your columnists and “reporters“ should pick their battles. Presenting valid, legitimate arguments for or against the stadium location is long past. It’s old news. The project is going ahead. Can this writer find not ONE positive thing in a development of this magnitude?

Regina could be known as the city with the ramshackle skate park, or the city with the nicest and most modern multi-purpose facility in the country. Similarly, Prairie Dog could be respected as a journalistic enterprise, or laughed at as a mindless rag with nothing to say.

I do remember a time when your paper really did try to report things, to inform people of topics of interest, and other endeavours. Now it just seems like a place where people gather to foist negativity on readers, talk about bleak and dreary subjects, bash Christians, and generally just be a real downer to even open it. It is a shame.

Most publications have a clear intent and purpose, and I just can‘t begin to even offer any insight into what your paper is attempting to be or who your stories are aimed at.

Jo Katera, Regina

Editor Note: Thanks for the letter, Jo. Prairie Dog is an alternative newspaper — our motto is “Regina’s Only Alternative” — and as such combines solid reporting with strong, thoughtful critical opinions as well as playful irreverence and goofy shenanigans. Speaking as someone who’s been at this desk for 14 years, I don’t agree at all that we’ve stopped reporting on news and “topics of interest”. Our city hall coverage, for example, is without a doubt stronger than it’s ever been. In fact, I can promise you that we now cram more content into an average issue than we ever have.

In any case, if there’s something that annoys one particular reader there’s likely to be something else for them elsewhere.

I do appreciate your feedback on Trish Elliott’s indoor skatepark article. It’s all right that you found it sulky and unconstructive. Lots of other readers  absolutely loved it. It’s okay for people to have different opinions. Sometimes the truth of a thing is in the conversation rather than a declaration.

One clarification: I disagree with your assertion that Prairie Dog writers bash Christians, who are often swell as fuck despite their peculiar conviction that there’s a magical dude in the sky. We DO consistently poop on dumb and toxic concepts like, say, creationism or opposition to reproductive choice and same-sex marriage, which are frequently rooted in less thoughtful, non-introspective religious ideology.

Thanks again for the letter! /Stephen Whitworth


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