Alvin Tinamou has never been one to shy away from anything, be it controversy or, as in this case, success.
In fact, the publisher of The Avian Messenger and one of the organizers of May’s annual Month Without Metaphor (MWM) admits that he happily “goes where other species fear to tread.”
And so it was last year, when Tinamou trod into the minefield of Park journalism and had the audacity to suggest that its descriptions were “overblown” and that our journalism overused metaphors to explain simple concepts.
“I was vilified, of course,” he said yesterday, at the conclusion of his radio show on AVN Radio (286.7).
“But then, something happened. In the silence that followed all the calls for me to apologize, it appeared that some actual thought occurred on the part of editors and reporters. And much to my surprise, many of The Park’s media signed on to my ‘great experiment’ to see if we could leave behind many of the standard metaphors that have become the hallmark of Park media and tell our stories in a much cleaner way. Not simpler in terms of concept, but in terms of language. And, I have to say, it’s been a roaring success, if you’ll excuse the metaphor. We have learned a tremendous amount in the two years the experiment has been going,” he said.
Tinamou’s radio show wraps up on Sunday and he says the challenge now is to keep the momentum going.
“We’ll have to work hard not to slip back into mindless metaphors and similes…to do the work we need to do rather than to be formulaic,” he says.
As for the rumours that he will be joining the Cuthbert School of Journalism at the University of West Terrier this Autumn, Tinamou will say only that he’s “flattered.”
“They’ve not asked me and even if they had, I wouldn’t leave my present position [at The Avian Messenger], even for a part-time faculty appointment,” he says.