Picturing Manitoba: Legacies of the Winnipeg Tribune.


272 pages
Contains Photos
ISBN 978-1-894283-76-2
DDC 971.27




Reviewed by Paul G. Thomas

Paul G. Thomas is a political science professor at the University of
Manitoba and the co-author of Canadian Public Administration:
Problematical Perspectives.


This is a wonderful book, especially for someone like the reviewer who grew up in post-war Winnipeg in a family which read the Winnipeg Tribune rather than the dominant newspaper, the Winnipeg Free Press. It was a sad day when the Tribune folded on August 27, 1980, at a time when it was in the midst of an aggressive campaign to compete with its rival for readers and advertising dollars. The closure ended 90 years of operation, the last 60 years of which the Tribune was part of the Southam media empire. The fate of the Tribune raises the question of whether a market the size of Winnipeg can support two major daily newspapers. In the recession of the early 1980s, there was a trend to concentration of ownership in the media, and to prevent the re-emergence of its rival, the Free Press bought the name and the building which housed the Tribune. Today a parking lot stands in its place.


This book is not a full history of the Tribune. As the title suggests, the main purpose is to showcase in vivid black and white pictures the work of the photographers of the newspaper. The photographs are interspersed with engaging prose and “boxed” colourful commentaries, making the book itself a work of art. In addition to the history of the newspaper, the presentation is organized around themes, such as the personalities and talents of the people who owned and managed the paper, those who covered the news and wrote the columns, and the creative photographers who captured so brilliantly 90 years of events and people in Winnipeg and beyond.


The Tribune developed some of the best writers and photojournalists in Canada. Its presence served to improve the quality of the other newspaper in town, a dynamic which has unfortunately been lost because for decades the Free Press has been barely forced to compete with a much inferior tabloid. This book is a fitting tribute to the contributions of the Tribune to the quality of public life in Manitoba. The archives of the paper are available at the University of Manitoba library.


Gourluck, Russ., “Picturing Manitoba: Legacies of the Winnipeg Tribune.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 12, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/28827.