Plainspeak was set up as a non-profit in 1996, in Toronto. Its goal is to make complex public issues intelligible to a wide audience, using plain language and many information-graphics.
We worked with First Nations and Aboriginal groups, with environmentalists and with disability organizations and with women’s groups (against violence).
In almost every case, there was a decision to be made by the community or the members. If all understood not only the general outlines but also the details of what they were being asked to decide, then “plainspeak” was a success. In every case, the people we worked with determined the media used, the look of each “plainspeak” and the content of both text and pictures. Needless to say the results were not a “product” that we, as an organization, could easily use for promotional purposes, because each one served a particular purpose for a particular community.
Much of our work can be seen on our website, plainspeak.ca.
We took a break for a few years, and then, in 2016, returned. We re-established plainspeak.ca as an organization, and began experimenting with new versions of “plainspeak”. We produced a text on how to research public issues (howtoresearch.net), We hold bi-weekly discussion sessions of “Muckrakers” where people discuss items from various news sources, and we then produce a digest of the articles and discussion. We have plans for a seniors’ website to help combat an almost inevitable isolation and to provide mutual support.
Muckraker Bulletin began as an experiment: to support informed discussion of public issues in the news in these troubled times. We have produced seven Bulletins thus far, and will add more – one every two weeks – as the year progresses. We have a list of about 120 subscribers so far. Muckrakers Bulletin has a website (Muckrakers.info) where you too can subscribe if you wish to receive the Bulletins personally by email or surface mail.
When requested, we continue to work with First Nations and Aboriginal groups.
Among those who have worked with Plainspeak on various different projects are: John B Zoe, Liora and Rick Salter, Era Novak, Alex Monem, Christopher Bizzocchi, Samantha Hodder, Meghan McGarrity Tinmouth, Rachael Meltzer, Jean Teillet, Marcia Rioux , Norm Hardisty, Stan Loutitt, Jason Madden and Kelly Campagnola.