Saturday, May 18, 2024

Truth be told – BIG Media marks first birthday

One year ago today, we went live with what we intended to be a very trustworthy source of news as well as a site at which members could engage in constructive, respectful discussion.

It has been no walk in the park, but I believe we have accomplished those objectives.

I will start with my most sincere THANK YOU:

  • to my brilliant business partner Laurie Weston, who added an important level of intelligence to my idealistic ambition … and is an incredible writer!
  • to Lee Hunt, another great writer and scientist who is committed to doing what we can to add a desperately needed voice of truth in a media realm cluttered with misinformation.
  • to the others in our tight group of shareholders who unanimously accepted that we would make a difference and money – in that order … and that profits will never be more important than integrity at BIG Media.
  • to production editor Ernest Granson, my first boss in my journalism career more than 30 years ago, whose diligence, patience, and technical skills behind the scenes are vital to our success
  • to infographic wiz Muriel Protzer for helping bring data to life … and for her excellent writing.
  • to our remarkable team of journalists, all of whom qualified under my unconventional criteria (good with data, good with words, good with logic, good hearted). Most are accomplished scientists, and all are excellent writers who avoid engaging in the standard practices of sensationalism and cherry picking of data and sources.
  • to Innovative Digital Solutions Inc. for building a robust platform with a crisp, clean look and excellent functionality
  • above all, thank you to our members, each of whom invests a few bucks a week to ensure that BIG Media continues to deliver the truth about all the big issues.

Here are some of the highlights from the last 365 days of delivering the facts with logical, spin-free interpretation:

We set up a COVID committee consisting of epidemiologist Dr. David Vickers and acclaimed data scientists Lee Hunt and Laurie Weston. All of our data work is triple checked by these very bright humans, so you know that you can trust our coverage to be fair and accurate.

Laurie Weston wrote a three-part series on what science is actually all about:

Science – there is method to the madness

Manipulating science – activism and advocacy

Science and morality – ethics and judgment

Laurie made it very clear that we do not pick sides when she wrote a data-rich piece showing that COVID is much deadlier than the flu … but that flu hospitalizations and deaths actually increased after widespread flu vaccination was introduced in Alberta:

COVID-19 is definitely not the flu

Lee Hunt led the way in documenting the important numbers related to the evolving COVID situation as well as the risks of adverse events following immunization:

Omicron update: vaccine effectiveness against ICU admission holds at 80%

Omicron update: vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization drops sharply

Ontario vaccine effectiveness nosedives amid surge in new cases

Analysis of severe events following COVID vaccine shows increased incidence of myocarditis and lymphadenopathy

Taking a responsible look at adverse events following immunization

Lee also reminded us all that none of the current challenges justifies abandoning fundamental health-care principles:

Mounting COVID frustration is no reason to abandon fundamental principles

Examining the ethics of triage in a pandemic

Doctor of geology Brad Hayes and Laurie contributed a series of fact-backed articles that add critical context to important matters related to climate change and energy transition:

Climate change and energy: context for the great debate

Putting global emissions in perspective

Sea level is rising; should we be worried?

Taking a critical look at the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’

Funeral for a glacier

Capturing carbon – the science and the subtleties

Power struggle – data analysis puts Texas energy debacle in perspective

What the International Energy Agency is actually telling us

Renowned scientist/entrepreneur Brian Russell and Laurie’s daughter Lindsey Bellman made sweet music with their words combining music and science:

Music, mathematics, and physics Part 3 – harmony and chords

Music, mathematics, and physics Part 2 – musical scales

Music, mathematics, and physics

Analog to digital music – where the magic happens

Jesse Keith brought us up to speed with a fantastic series on renewable energy:

Renewable energy – renewing hope or struggling to cope?

Renewables Part 2: cost and economic viability

Renewables Part 3 – assessing the technological capability of wind and solar

Oliver Kuhn taught us many lessons when he wrote about the Great Spokane Flood, and the fundamental principles of our energy sources:

Energy fundamentals – an essential element of the transition discussion

Examining the great Spokane Flood yields many lessons

Very early in the COVID game, Laurie and Skye Thompson helped us better understand the lethality of the disease that everyone was talking about but few understood:

COVID context – how concerned should we be about dying from this virus?

Assessing the relative lethality of COVID-19: a Canadian case study

Thanks for being part of a successful first year! I look forward to hearing your feedback as we do even more in Year 2!

Rob Driscoll
Rob Driscoll
Rob Driscoll is co-founder and president of BIG Media Ltd. He is a writer and entrepreneur who is deeply committed to elevating the level of coverage of our society's most pressing matters as well as the level of respect in public discourse.

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