This is a timely conversation. Our own media has frequently been accused of being biased. Recently we were attacked for not presenting all points of view.
One Reserve Community website recently even listed a complete code of ethics for journalism in response to our critique of the Treaty Process they are currently engaged in.
Today CTV news provided a great example for us to demonstrate how balance and fairness in journalism has not existed in the Mainstream Press for a substantial period of time.
Critiquing our media for offering divergent opinions is a bit rich.
Attached below is our video copy, unedited, of CTV offering three panellists the opportunity to discuss Mayday with the associated protests. All three were obviously from the right wing spectrum of the political scene. They freely admitted it. Then they each went on tangents against the union and workers claiming “They just don’t get it.” The moderator agreed.
They didn’t stop there however as they supported the police having quotas for issuing tickets claiming, “If you don’t speed you won't get a ticket” though the man who issued that statement also stated when he was doing the speed limit a police officer came up behind him and honked at him because he was going too slow.
These guys and even the moderator laughed when one related a comment from his audience regarding bike lanes and reduced traffic speeds. He stated, 'if you were going faster at least you'd have a confirmed kill.'
And then it got worse. As one of the panellists lost his sound feed we were denied his sexual perverseness, (even though the moderator ignored his explanation and asked him again anyways), the two remaining got into talking about Catholic School girls and the fantasy’s of the uniform. The next guy introduced a new restaurant where one can live it up in a “family friendly” environment. "The tilted Kilt"?
Not a single opportunity for any comment challenging these three men on their ignorance. Just a full free for all by CTV news to show Canadians how if one does not agree with them, they are unusual, abnormal. All four were laughing along and the audience were expected to fully participate, accepting this conversation as normal behaviour. Most viewers likely did not recognize what they were supporting.
It was an extraordinary display of how Bell media, CTV, Global and CBC too, have lost their ability to be fair and objective. A display we now use to demonstrate how Canadians are being manipulated without being informed.
We have presented two previous articles on this same blatant bias and manipulation by CTV and you can read and watch the video clips by following these links.On Enbridge and Northern Gateway.On Iran and the US Military.
CBC is not excused either. Watch their very own Kevin O’leary here
.And on the occupy protests here.
In the northwest and across most of BC the local newspapers are all owned by one company, Black Press. During the past year and again this past week Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch is being accused of phone hacking and pandering to the ruling political party in Britain (as well as running the USA media for the USA government). The UK Prime Minister and his Cabinet has been exposed and have even admitted to being too close to Murdoch. It is no different in BC. The BC Liberals held a recent convention on the Estate property of David Black, the founder of Black Press. Every newspaper between Prince George and Prince Rupert is controlled by Black Press.
There is very little media independence.
A recent internet blog sensation began last year when Kai Nagata
suddenly resigned his post with CTV. Direct from his blog;Until July, 2011, I was CTV’s Quebec City Bureau Chief, reporting mostly on politics. I first detailed my reasons for resigning on [here.] Prior to CTV, I worked as CBC’s videojournalist in Montreal, where I also spent time as a radio reporter.
Here is a direct excerpt from his reasons for resigning though one should read it all. TV news is a curious medium. You don’t always know whose interests are being served – or ignored. Although bounded by certain federal regulations, most of what you see in a newscast is actually defined by an internal code – an editorial tradition handed down from one generation to the next – but the key is, it’s self-enforced.
Various industry associations hear complaints and can issue recommendations, or reward exemplary work with prizes. There are also watchdogs with varying degrees of clout. But these entities have no enforcement capacity.
Underneath this lies the fact that information is a commodity, and private TV networks are supposed to make money. All stations, publicly funded or not, want to maintain or expand their viewership. This is what I’ll call the elephant in the room.
We have written numerous article on the local media biases and their refusal to cover certain issues due to the advertising revenue they might lose.
As for external influence however was a report direct to us from Jim McDonald, a UBC researcher hired by the Kitsumkalum Band. He told us the local editor of the Black Press newspaper could not publish anything opposed to the Treaty negotiations. He received these instructions, he told McDonald, direct from his head office in Victoria.
Reporters from other local media have secretly offered us stories they were not allowed to cover as well, due to influence direct from their management.
So for people to critique our medium for being one sided or biased is an outrageous accusation. We allow all political points of view in our comments section; never censor or edit, except where one refuses to provide a real name, contact information or uses profanity, and we post news releases from all political persuasions. The only thing our media can be accused of is offering too much information on too varied a list of subjects and most likely on challenging common perceptions.
We attempted to address this problem last year regarding Enbridge and various other media portrayals with When Logic is Illogical and Reason is Unreasonable
We were the first media in Canada to publish anything regarding the radiation fallout and threat from Japan. We have been the first to provide timely information on numerous subjects, regardless of the impact to our bottom line. It is what journalism used to be.
Recently Journalists gathered in Montreal to discuss this very issue. Following is an excerpt of Kai Nagata’s report on the conference. Don’t forget to watch the attached CTV news clip. Judge for yourself how balanced and fair the news is being presented.“How to Rescue Canadian Journalism”by Kai Nagata
This report from the Journalism Strategies conference first appeared at TheTyee.ca
As tear gas and horse manure wafted up from another day of protests downtown, we gathered on the verdant slopes of Mount Royal, in an old stone building at McGill University. With the free press and democracy apparently competing to see which could crumble fastest, we felt a certain urgency.
From Halifax's Kelly Toughill came the idea of a tax refund for newspaper and magazine subscriptions. With a little help from Revenue Canada, might you be more likely to pay for Canadian journalism?
From Gatineau's Cathy Edwards came the idea of commandeering the CBC's old transmission towers before they're dismantled, handing them to community broadcasters -- and even renting out space to phone companies.
I pitched the idea of a referendum on stabilizing CBC funding. Let's ask Canadians once and for all if the public broadcaster should be guaranteed a certain budget. If the "No" side wins, successive governments may continue to hack and slash at their discretion.Journalism Strategies
"What I wanted to do was have a focused conversation about how we could use public policy to support forms of journalism that support citizenship," says Journalism Strategies organizer Christine Crowther. A former CBC videojournalist (like me), Crowther is now pursuing a PhD in Communication Studies at McGill.
"The only way we were going to succeed in putting this on the public agenda was by drawing a diverse group of people into conversation with each other," she says. That meant putting hard-nosed newsroom journos in small rooms with academics and activists. It didn't always go smoothly.Read the entire piece with links on the Tyee website here.