Vancouver Province reporter Jeani Read dies

The city lost one of its more popular journalists on Friday.

Jeani Read died of cancer on Friday at the age of 60.

During her 34-year career at the Province, Read covered everything from rock music to current affairs to lifestyle issues. The Province reported today that she is survived by her husband, Michael Mercer, her father George Read, and her brother, Philip Read.

She was once the girlfriend of rock promoter Bruce Allen, which generated a fair amount of buzz in Vancouver at the time.

In some respects, Read was a throwback to a time when the Province was a more liberal paper.

In the days before CanWest Global Communications Corp. took over the Southam chain, the paper featured several liberal columnists such as Bob Stahl, Alan Twigg, Shane McCune, Kimberly Daum, Lyn Cockburn, and Read.

Over the years, those liberal voices have been stilled at the Province, only to be replaced by more conservative columnists, such as Christy Clark, Mike Smyth, Alan Ferguson, and Joey Thompson. Arch-conservative journalist Jon Ferry, a global-warming denier and former Sterling Newspapers colleague of David Radler, is in charge of the editorial pages.

James McNulty still offers progressive views on national affairs and oil depletion in the Province, but after 33 years in the business, he may not last much longer.

Popular editorial cartoonist Bob Krieger indicated last week on CBC Radio that he's likely to leave the Province, having applied for a buyout.

The Straight extends its condolences to Read's family and to all of her former colleagues who loved her dearly.