Monday, February 17, 2014

"Louie Riel Day"

Today is Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, a statutory holiday, so stores are open fewer hours than they would normally be. This sign was posted on the door of a major retailer in Winnipeg last week (and by major retailer, I mean possibly the world's largest retailer).

In Public Relations classes in the Creative Communications program at Red River College, we teach students to go to the source to find the correct spelling of a name. If you're writing about a film, go to the production company's website, not IMDb. If you're writing about a politician, go to his/her campaign materials, not the local newspaper. Don't trust someone else not to have made an error; go to the source.

But if the source has been dead more than a century, where do you go? You have to figure out who's most reliable. Wikipedia makes it easy to find information about millions of topics quickly, but is every detail you'll find there reliable? You don't know for sure.

Louis Riel Day is officially recognized by the Government of Manitoba -- so in this case, that'd be your official source.