RossK makes excellent points in comments at The Gazetteer about the value of Public Eye Online and the entirety of Sean Holman‘s work.
Finally, a number of folks are slagging Sean Holman for taking advertising….That is just flat-out crazy…Unlike pikers like us, Sean is actually trying to make a living at what he does (even Paul’s blog is, I hypothesize, a hobby)…If you want to keep Sean from taking ads, send him money (seriously)…And for those of you concerned that Sean has ads up for Kevin Falcon, I have to ask the following….”How come no one complained when the ad for Guy Guenter first popped up?”…Sorry to be so strident about this, but I honestly believe that Mr. Holman is the best of all the pro-reporters/commentators covering provincial politics right now….Finally, his archives are the best history of those politics in the not-so Golden Era….
Sean is unique and an important contributor to political knowledge in BC. He’s at the front with his ear to the ground and very cooperative with independent commentators. He is honest in his approach and I support him with the small monthly payment he seeks. Those of us who care about free flowing information have to step up and do that. Like we do in supporting CBC, PBS and Knowledge Network, we must contribute to those who work for the public interest rather than vested interests.
That said, IMO, Public Eye needs to be vigilant about balance and the appearance of it. Recently, I grew uncomfortable with what seemed Public Eye’s excessive focus on internal party matters of the NDP, particularly the Sihota hiring. I realized that insiders opposed to NDP leadership were leaking to Sean and it was appropriate for him to publish. We could argue about repetition but that’s news judgement.
Along with the stream of negative NDP reporting, there was a steady and thick line of news about Liberals and the leadership jockeying, most of which was not negative in tone. So, events occurred that made Public Eye look unbalanced. I went back through the archives and scored for each side – negative, neutral or positive – and judged an imbalance in recent times.
The day when Kevin Falcon’s image stared back from three places on Public Eye’s home page seemed a tipping point to many who contacted me. It is something I wish Public Eye had not done. While Falcon is not going to get better treatment by advertising at Public Eye, the appearance is not good to the image of neutral reporting. However, the Falcon people are smart enough to know that every pol in BC reads Sean’s site regularly. That goes for members of every party that need to know what is going on.
However, to avoid the necessity of advertising, as RossK makes clear, readers have to step up and support Public Eye. Rather than pull my financial support, I’m going to double it and hope others join me. If many do, Public Eye can be more selective in who buys space. However, in the meantime, Sean Holman’s got to eat. If Holman didn’t do this work, he could earn far more in other writing pursuits. We are fortunate that he feels a duty to serve the public as he does.
Go HERE, make your contribution and hang in. We contribute so Public Eye delivers unvarnished truth, not one side’s version of it.
Categories: Public Eye Online