At last…A Manitoba Women’s Newspaper

ncitwspapDecember 5, 2016

I am sure that some of you out there scratch your heads when you see the choice of some of the articles (if you think about it at all) that I post on this blog.

I painstakingly have decided to include virtually all of the writing pieces that I have ever had published.

Why? Because I remember how ecstatic I was in the days when I was doing research for the history papers I wrote in university and the historical profiles I published later and found some obscure little detail in an article on page 40 of a newspaper. This could put the piece to a whole new interest level for the reader.

It is like searching for arrowheads and finding one with a design that no one had seen before.

So, yes, the following article might seem trivial to some who venture to read it but someone, somewhere will be elated to find it in the near or not so near future.

Maybe the most interesting thing about this story is the fact that The Manitoba Women’s Newspaper evolved into HERizons magazine which has now been around for decades. I think I am also accurate in stating that Writers News Manitoba, in which this piece was published, grew up to be Prairie Fire also on the Canadian literary scene for decades.

This is it:

Writers News Manitoba
Vollume 3, Number 3
At Last… A Manitoba Women’s Newspaper
by Tanya Lester

A new monthly publication, The Manitoba Women’s Newspaper. is now in circulation at many bookstores and women’s centers throughout the province. It is designed to draw together Manitoba women by covering issues of particular concern to them.

Says editor Martina Frietag, “It is important that women in each area of the province know what women in other locations are doing. The paper is their means of communication.” To appeal to such a large and diversified readership, Frietag realizes, the newspaper will have to cover a wide range of topics. But she feels it can be done. The paper will deal with themes such as women’s contributions to the province as artists, career women, church women, heroes and women in trades.

“We’ll be covering issues of general concern to all feminists, not just radical women’s libbers,” Frietag says. It will be of interest to most women through its monitoring of news items on events which focus on women’s issues. Ms. Frietag believes that “we will be covering a wide enough variety of stories that women who are not feminists might become interested.”

The idea for the newspaper came from the Manitoba Action Committee on the Status of Women (MACSW) when they realized that the women’s movement may be weakening due to geographical distances, according to Brenda Elliot, who edited the publications’s first issue. Both Ms. Elliot and Ms. Frietag feel that the Manitoba Women’s Newspaper can offer an effective means of communication as well as a real editorial alternative to all Manitoba women. Says Frietag “we think women do have cares that should be looked at” — cares, Frietag and Elliot believe, that are not being dealt with in magazines available to Manitoba women — cares such as teenage pregnancy or old-age pensions for housewives.

Although the newspaper will be published in Winnipeg (most of the 30 active members live in or near the city) Frietag does not believe women living in other communities or in rural areas will be discouraged from contributing. Women from Brandon, Ethelbert, Minnedosa, Morden, Selkirk, Thompson and St. Anne have already made contributions to the paper. In the future, the newspaper staff may organize a conference to physically bring together women from all areas of Manitoba.

For its volunteer members, The Manitoba Women’s Newspaper is a means through which they can teach, practice, and learn the skills needed to produce a paper. Women can write, wok on production, submit photographs, seek advertisements and subscriptions, or draw graphics and cartoons for the newspaper. “We feel this aspect of the paper is important,” Frietag says. “Anyone can contribute regardless of her experience. The women involved can teach some skills in exchange for learning others.”

A newspaper dealing solely with Manitoba women’s issues is long overdue. Most other provinces already boast such well established women’s publications such as Edmonton’s Branching out, the Toronto based Broadside and Vancouver’s Kinesis. “Originally, I think women’s newspapers emerged because the established media wasn’t covering women’s issues,” Elliot says. “Women felt there was a need for consciousness raising.”

The Manitoba Women’s Newspaper is now operating as a non-profit organization independent of MACSW. According to Elliot, a feasibility study undertaken last summer showed that from 5000 to 8000 women were interested in subscribing to a women’s paper. The newspaper is now relying on subscriptions, sponsors, and sales of advertisements to ensure publication on a regular basis…

–END–

To read more posts on this blog, go to writingsmall.wordpress.com or tealeaf56.wordpress.com

Tanya has worked as a psychic, reading tea leaves and tarot cards for 20 years now. She is also a reiki master and fulltime housesitter. To tap into her services go to her web at teareading.wordpress.com or her pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. Or contact her directly at tealeaf.56@gmail.com or call her call at 250-538-0086.

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