Reason #81 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

Avenue, VUE Weekly & The Journal

By Emil Tiedemann

Freedom of the press is an important part of how we live here in Canada. It’s a democratic right in our country, but a mere pipe dream for many other regions around the world. That freedom was suddenly threatened here in Alberta some eight decades ago, by our very own then Premier William Aberhart and his Social Credit government, which passed the infamous Accurate News and Information Act in 1937. 

This statute required all newspapers to divulge their sources on the demand of the government, and forced them to print “clarifications” of stories that a government-appointed committee deemed accurate.

It went against everything we stand for, and in fact, Alberta’s newspapers refused to abide by these partisan rules. The Edmonton Journal, about 34 years old at the time of the kerfuffle, led the fight against the Accurate News and Information Act, which was eventually deemed by the Supreme Court of Canada as unconstitutional. 

The following year, in 1938, the Pulitzer Prize committee awarded the Edmonton Journal with a bronze plaque for their leadership and for standing their ground, becoming the first non-American newspaper to earn a Pulitzer. There were about ninety-five other newspapers across the province - including the now defunct Edmonton Bulletin - who received engraved certificates from the esteemed organization as well. 

More than a century after it first went to print in 1903, the Edmonton Journal is still very alive and well, with a weekly circulation of more than half a million people, and a renewed commitment to its digital content. It also remains committed to the community of Edmonton, namely the arts, partnering up with local organizations such as the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Alberta Ballet, and the annual Canspell National Spelling Bee. 

More importantly though, the Journal brings to its readers the essential stories that matter to Edmontonians, stories from right here in town and from around the world, all at our fingertips. #yegjournal

In 1987, Ron Garth decided to give the struggling Edmonton Bulletin some competition on the local alternative magazine front, publishing the first issue of a brand new newspaper called Something Entertaining. Thankfully, the name was slimmed down to SEE in 1992, but the content remained intact, focusing on Edmonton's music, movie, and theatre scenes. 

Eventually, SEE absorbed what was left of the Bullet, but it had its own issues to contend with. Rumour had it that Garth and some of the magazine's other staff were let go when new owners took over, and were so pissed off with how they were treated that they congregated in Garth's basement and worked tirelessly on a competing magazine to stick it to 'em! 

By the end of the week, in mid-September 1995, VUE Weekly had hit newsstands, right next to the latest issue of SEE. It remained this way for years, until the two magazines finally merged in May 2011, but stuck with the VUE brand. 

In December of 2014, VUE proudly put out their audacious 1,000th issue! That same month, another magazine was celebrating a special occasion, as Avenue Edmonton turned the big four!

With its glossy cover and sleek design, Avenue quickly became Edmonton's preeminent lifestyle magazine, offering a sophisticated look and intelligent articles about the most influential people and places in town. Many Edmontonians love flipping through the award-winning monthly, best-known for popular features like the annual "Top 40 Under 40" and "Best Restaurants." 

Avenue and VUE together keep Edmontonians up-to-date on everything that the Sun, Examiner, and Metro probably aren't - the what's new and what's best in local food, fashion, music, theatre, film, and those other topics that the mainstream media might rather avoid (i.e. sex!). Oh, and one more thing, they're both FREE! #yegsmags


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