Ten days ago, I offered Twit, piled higher and deeper in which I took a shot or three at the Global TV news operation. My blog indicated that in the Kash Heed stories, the Sall/Urquhart email would test the core strength of Global’s ethicality. They failed, to the surprise of no one.
Even Liberal party members readily admit they benefit from Global’s friendly inclinations. That was not Urquhart’s personal policy, it is corporate policy of Global BC and its corporate sister Corus Radio. Also, it was Global Canwest Newspapers policy and remains, at least with their largest BC properties, the policy of successor Postmedia Group.
BC Liberal operator Barinder Sall’s email to Catherine Urquhart could easily have referred to Global TV News, saying instead:
“Your stories, coverage and timing give Liberals a flattering profile and built a following from day 1 and then leading into the elections.”
In the review by the unnamed senior director of editorial policy, Global faulted only the reporter’s failure to maintain plausible deniability. They were not troubled with her acting as Barinder Sall’s “communications director.” The employer was troubled that she left unchallenged evidence of the role.
“Ms. Urquhart was bound by accepted journalistic principles to negate or dispute Mr. Sall’s email comments because of the seriousness of the allegations. In failing to do so, Ms. Urquhart created the appearance of a partisan conflict of interest and thus put at risk the reputation of Global News for balanced reporting.”
Tsk. Tsk. She forgot that troublesome emails sometimes emerge. As they did in the Basi/Virk case where recovered electronic messages embarrassed many and led to the $6 million sweetheart deal with the defendants. By the way, I searched for other activities of Global’s ‘senior director of editorial policy’, hoping to attach a name to the position. All recent accounts found through Google refer to the title, not the person. Could it be that Ian Haysom, the only senior Global manager named in any Urquhart stories, is also the senior director of editorial policy?
Did mainstream media seek the source of the exculpatory statement they reported? Did they raise questions about thoroughness, or independence, or merely repeat without examination, as modern stenographic reporters do? According to Sun columnist Daphne Bramham, the media is quick to castigate one of its own when breaches become public. Sorry Daphne, I could not find any castigation of Urquhart from the media, except by wing-nut bloggers. From paid writers, I found plenty of justification and numerous references to your own sympathetic excuse making for Urquhart. And, of course the hard-hitting pundits of Friday morning radio were quick to deny any possibility of friends gaining sympathetic coverage. Sure.
I would love to complain that ethics of today’s journalism compare badly to earlier days. That is impossible to prove, broadly. However, in the case of Global BC TV News, that is true because their predecessor in the Burnaby studios was the unbeatable BCTV News. Do you suppose that Cameron Bell would employ editors or producers that allowed this on-air statement from a reporter on January 29?
“Police believe the murderer either knew Tyeshia, just met her or was a total stranger who preyed on a vulnerable girl . . .”