A story posted today on the Terrace Standard website, owned and controlled by a Victoria based media conglomerate ‘Black Press’, took me on personally without so much as an email or phone call asking me my position on the matter. The Terrace City Administrator, Don Ramsey, had at least that much decency. To write a story about someone without contacting them first for their opinion is the lowest form of journalism.
The story is based on my run for the mayor’s job during the last municipal election and my neglect to file my expenses for that bid. The only benefit of this for the Terrace Standard was for them to include my accounting in their stories. The printed various accounts of who spent what, who helped or donated to who, who was the most frugal, who was the most environmentally friendly, etc etc. I did not contribute to their trivia.
During the campaign, this biased, one sided, right wing media publication, published a statement on how I refused to participate in a media interview with them, which was a blatant bold faced lie. I asked for their questions in advance and offered to participate freely. They delivered other candidates running in the municipal election questions in advance but refused this to me. Hence it was them who refused to participate appropriately. I eventually found the time to sit down with their reporter and they produced a small account of that interview.
Also during the campaign they wrote a story about Jennifer Lewis and her conflict with Dave Pernarowski
and the Terrace Tourism Society. They once again included myself in their story without contacting me.
After that story was published I emailed and phoned Rod Link, their Terrace based editor, and informed him the slander was libellous and they could be sued for such statements and their lack of journalistic standards.
Had they taken the time to call me they would have heard a completely different story; all five Mayoral candidates in the last election were closely connected. Through work and media we all had our acrimonious interactions. For the Standard to make up a story mentioning others without contacting them fails the first basic test.
And then the election itself.
One might ask why I ran and if I would run again.
I explained this clearly to the Terrace CAO; at least he called to talk about it.
I have been writing and publishing in the Terrace region since May 2006 and there have been numerous elections during this time; Municipal, Provincial and Federal. The Terrace Standard and the Chamber of Commerce have been running all the candidate forums for these elections. The Terrace Standard has excluded our media, the Terrace Daily, at every occasion. All other media have been invited to pose questions to the candidates except the Terrace Daily. It has been a constant effort by the Standard and others to discredit us as we freely allow all points of view. We give space to those who cannot get space in the pages of the right wing papers controlled by Victoria's Black Press; the Terrace Standard, Northern Connector, Northern View, Northern Daily, Kitimat Sentinel, and in Smithers the Interior News. They print numerous articles and editorials for Enbridge but fail to offer equal space to those opposed.
It got so bad that during the previous Provincial election we hosted our own forum at the Kitsumkalum Hall
and invited the other media to attend.
For this last municipal election, I once again knew the Black Press boys and girls would exclude the Terrace Daily. I considered what the Standard would do if I ran for Mayor? Would they exclude me then? Not bloody likely I thought. So I put my name in the ring to be able to raise the issues I did, which weren’t put to the current mayor by the other media; the First Nations inclusion in the Heritage Park, the TEDA fiasco of not listening to their own consultants, taking money from Enbridge, the list was long.
I explained this to the Terrace CAO, Ramsey. He explained there was no reason to file these expense papers if I didn’t wish to run again
And that is the point. I made my point. And the Terrace Standard is allowing me to make it yet again. They and the Chamber are an exclusive lot of ne’er do wells who forbid alternative points of view to see the light of day. And they have no journalistic integrity, nothing what the public should expect from their local media.
I will not change my appearance, nor will I conform to the narrow right wing mind set required to secure the votes of the Chamber and their ilk. I am not interested in being Mayor of Terrace. What I am interested in is exposing the unwillingness of the local media to do their job responsibly and appropriately.
It has been embarrassing to watch the Standard and their exclusionary antics of the past 6 years. Investigative reporting and exposing the dirt, no matter where it is, is something Black Press forbids. As we recently reported regarding the treaty negotiations, they are forbidden to publish anything opposed to treaty.
And this is why I did not file the financial disclosure papers, had anyone at the Standard bothered to ask.
And for those who care to know? I beat everyone at every level. My 4 x 4 signs were made from a purchase at Rona of four 4 x 8 sheets of press board, which disintegrates in the weather. Although very biodegradable (quickly) I saved them to reuse as sheeting for a wall. The lettering was applied by fluorescent paint (three spray cans) using stencils purchased from Creative Zone. I bought 4 twenty foot lengths of 3/8th rebar from Terrace Redi-mix and cut each into 4 for sixteen posts, which I drove into the ground with my sledge hammer. Drilling holes through the press board at the rebar, I tie strapped (zap straps I already had) the spray painted signs to them. Viola, 8 large signs strategically placed in Terrace for under a hundred bucks. I guess I could add ‘in kind’ donations from my own photo copier and an ad I placed on the Terrace Daily too. And maybe the ‘environmentally friendliness was challenged by my using three cans of spray paint?
But today, the Terrace Sub-Standard News quotes Brian Downie (a life time ‘Club Member’), City Staff Heather Nunn and Councillor Bruce Bidgood. Now just who was missing to complete journalistic ethics?
hmmm well ... what goes around...