We Could Have Seen This Coming

The Guardian’s Wayne Thibodeau said the world would end if journalists blogged

By Stephen Pate – In 2009 Wayne Thibodeau predicted the end of trusted journalism as we know it if journalists used blogs.  He looked every bit the Doppelganger for Saul.

Featured image – The Conversion of St. Paul – Giordano

“This will have dire consequences and I am not over exaggerating,” predicted Press Gallery President Thibodeau if a single blogger remained in the press gallery. It was October 2009 and Thibodeau was speaking at a hastily organized meeting of the PEI Press Gallery.

In May 2011 Thibodeau, re-appeared as St. Paul on the road to Damascus, converted to the Social Media religion.  Some might call that a double standard.

Some might say Thibodeau was acting on behalf of his employer The Guardian / Transcontinental to restrict competition while they caught up with the technology.

Not one blogger in our midst

Wayne Thibodeau, no room in the inn for journalists in wheelchairs – Guardian Editor named in Human Rights complaint for discrimination

“The floodgate begins,” warned Thibodeau prophesying a disaster of biblical proportions if his fellow Guardian and CBC employees did not pick up their stones and remove the vexatious journalist blogger Stephen Pate from their midst.

“Quite frankly, the executive does not believe there is a place for bloggers in the press gallery because there is no room in the inn,” said Thibodeau waxing Biblical again.

Like Saul killing Christians, Thibodeau was on a mission to rid the press gallery of bloggers.

The Stoning of St. Stephen – Agostino Carracci

Not pie in the sky stuff anymore

Digital journalism “is not pie in the sky stuff anymore,” Thibodeau told a rapt audience of Holland College journalism graduates 19 months later in May 2011.

“This is being done,” enthused Thibodeau  although it wasn’t Jesus who appeared to convert him.

A cynic can see the not-quite-divine logic. Removing Stephen Pate from the Press Gallery allowed the Guardian to get their act together. The newspaper needed time to adopt social media trying to salvage the dwindling profit of newsprint.

“The Guardian reporter Wayne Thibodeau said he hopes by moving content into social networks to compete,” with blogs like NJN Network and “newspapers can keep readers who switch to online news.”

When the new order arrives journalists will be “busy tweeting, blogging and sending their work to every possible platform” waxed the converted Thibodeau.

“Thibodeau described a future where newspaper subscribers would get a thin, light tablet displaying the new issue of the Guardian every morning,” reported The Holland College Sentinel.

“Local papers are only years away from adopting these new methods of publishing,” Thibodeau said in 2011.

After helping in the stoning of the first Christian martyr St. Stephen, Saul got elevated to St. Paul.

Lo and behold, Ryan Ross and Teresa Wright two fellow Guardian reporters re-christened themselves as professional bloggers.

Charlottetown Guardian spawning professional bloggers

Thibodeau was rewarded for his duplicitous flip flop on bloggers with a promotion to the Guardian’s News Editor and Senior Correspondent.

Some might say Thibodeau was lying to the Press Gallery to get rid of a competitor. Some might say Thibodeau is a hypocrite, two-faced, a man of double standards. I say he is at least a disability bigot since he combined his hate for bloggers with a hate for disabled journalists.

We asked for his comment.  Mr. Thibodeau has nothing to say about this. There was no explanation for the contradiction, no trite apology, no retraction of his fervent persecution of the first blogger journalist on PEI.

Yet.

Christians believes in the eternal opportunity for the redemption of man. Personally, it makes me want to puke.  In 2010, I filed a  human rights complaint against Thibodeau and the press gallery. The Eastern Graphic called it Pate-Gate.

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By Stephen Pate, NJN Network

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