I just interviewed Ron Colman, director of GPI Atlantic, publisher of the Nova Scotia GPI accounts. You'll be hearing a lot about this on the TV news tonight and in the Chronicle-Herald tomorrow morning (and I'll be writing about it in next week's Coast); a short description comes from GPI's press release:
For 12 years, GPI Atlantic has been constructing measures of progress that provide a much more profound understanding of Nova Scotia's social, economic, and environmental health than has ever been possible. A Halifax-based non-profit research group, GPI Atlantic has issued nearly 100 reports on various aspects of the province's wellbeing over more than a decade. Today, GPI Atlantic is releasing an updated summary of headline indicators in 20 social, economic, and environmental areas—measuring the province's overall progress towards genuinely sustainable prosperity.I'll get into this in more detail later, but one thing I found interesting in my conversation with Colman was that he credited former Daily News editor Bill Turpin for getting the whole GPI effort rolling.
As Colman tells it, he was using GPI analyses in his classes. He went to a cocktail party and spoke with Turpin, telling him he thought the technique could be used more broadly for governmental purposes. "I'll give you $2,000," said Turpin, so long as you have someone write about it for the paper. The Daily News subsequently published a two-page spread on the effort, and the publicity was enough to get more funding, etc.
That's the sort of value that can come out of having competitive media. There's no reason for the monopolistic Chronicle Herald to invest in these sorts of ventures, and we're all the worse for it.