Find an interesting interview with the Pierre Bourque, creator of Bourque Newswatch [www.bourque.org], one of Canada’s most visited news aggregator. Bourque sheds some light on his various passions – both online and offline – and provides some wisdom for the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and the current Prime Minister of Canada, Right Honourable Stephen Harper.
Greg Farries: According to your website, www.bourque.com, you’re a race car driving, news aggregating, artist. Kind of a strange mix of talents… Can you provide a bit of historical context to this mix of talents?
Pierre Bourque: Everything I do seems a logical extension of other things I do. My underlying goal is to make the most of my life, hence the various activities, each offering respite from the others in their own way. I prefer not to get too detailed, but suffice to say I have various passions and I encourage others to pursue theirs.
Why did you create www.bourque.com?
Pierre Bourque: Bourque Newswatch is the best compendium of links related to news and current affairs in Canada. No other single news site offers as much choice of news source, opinion, and variety of voice anywhere.
Why do you think www.bourque.com has been such a success over the past decade?
Pierre Bourque: Its sophistication lies in its simplicity.
Can you describe some of the ways in which you research potential headlines for your website?
Pierre Bourque: The best headlines and news stories come from my readers. News junkies love to be first with the news, so to speak, so I enjoy an endless stream of inbound story suggestions, all of which I am very much appreciative of.
You’ve been credited with some impressive scoops (e.g. Jean Charest’s departure from federal politics, etc) and yet you’ve gotten some things wrong in the past. Has being wrong ever gotten you into trouble?
Pierre Bourque: While nobody is perfect, I have an excellent batting average, which I attribute to the fact that the best scoops come from my readers, people who just happen to be ‘in the know’ at acute moments in periods of fascinating news making.
With websites like yours, and the growing influence of citizen journalism reflected in blogs, how important do you think the Internet is in terms of “controlling the message”, particularly concerning political and corporate communication strategies?
Pierre Bourque: Tough to control any message these days. If anything, the Internet has allowed for so many voices from such disparate points of view that the news consumer is best served by relying on as wide a variety of news sources as possible. Which is why our site does so well.
You have run for public office in the past, do you plan on running again in the future?
Pierre Bourque: When it comes to politics, I always say ‘never say never’.
Who do you think will be the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada? Why?
Pierre Bourque: Ideally it will be the right person at the right time for the right reasons. But the Party is in such dismal shape that it is throwing out a Hail Mary in hopes that the Vancouver leadership convention will convene sufficient oracles and palpable personalities to rally an increasingly transient and dispirited political landscape to its cause. The trouble is that the Liberal Party is currently mired in its past, great and storied as it has been. But what it must really do is focus on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. I am waiting for a candidate to tell me what I haven’t heard umpteen times before. Someone who can stimulate the development of exciting policies, galvanize hope, and implement the necessary discipline to pull together multiple factions now operating at cross-purposes within its world.
Considering your long tenure as a “news watcher” do you have any advice for the current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper?
Pierre Bourque: I’ve been doing Bourque Newswatch for a decade. But I was born in Ottawa and that means I have seen a lot of politicians come and go. The best ones remain humble and remember who they represent. The rest are just a passing parade.
How about the new Liberal Party leader?
Pierre Bourque: Practice the politics of inclusion.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Pierre Bourque: More breaking news ! 🙂