Revitalizing Canada’s Oldest Incorporated City.
Saint John is a city in need of media revolution.
I’m a lifelong west Saint Johner. I ventured up Route Seven three years ago to Fredericton, intent on pursuing a career in journalism. It wasn’t until I lived in a new city that I learned how different my home city is.
Saint John is home to some of the richest people in Canada, and the poorest. The Irving family, who own Irving Oil, J.D. Irving Limited, and all of the daily newspapers in the province, are in the top ten richest families in Canada. Saint John is also home to poverty, crime and urban sprawl. I’ve been fortunate enough to work for one of the Brunswick News papers in Saint John for the past two summers. The Irving family has drawn criticism for what has been referred to as a “media monopoly” on the province’s news. But for me, my summer internships have been an opportunity to get to know the city better and fall in love with Saint John.
The problem is, not everyone loves Saint John. It’s been described as Stinktown, and “the asshole of New Brunswick.” Not exactly complimentary. The people who dislike Saint John, dislike it. But the people who love it, love it A LOT.
I think the key to revitalizing the city is by harnessing these people for a multi-media project and newsletter. Saint John’s young population is dwindling, but the “hip and trendy” young city dwellers really make their presence known. These people have blogs, host parties, fashion shows, fundraisers, festivals and are the driving force behind some of the cities most successful small businesses.