Global TV

Stenography or reporting?

March 1, reporter Ted Chernecki made an unconditional statement on Global TV BC News Hour that the Canadian healthcare system

“was already ranked one of the worst in the world when it comes to bang for your buck.”

I asked Global to provide a source for that statement, which I considered material and inaccurate. Chernecki responded with a copy of the “think tank” report shown below. I then sent this message to Chernecki and Ian Haysom, Global TV BC news executive.

Given this part of the CAB code:

“It shall be the responsibility of broadcasters to ensure that news shall be represented with accuracy and without bias. Broadcasters shall satisfy themselves that the arrangements made for obtaining news ensure this result. They shall also ensure that news broadcasts are not editorial.

“News shall not be selected for the purpose of furthering or hindering either side of any controversial public issue, nor shall it be formulated on the basis of the beliefs, opinions or desires of management, the editor or others engaged in its preparation or delivery. The fundamental purpose of news dissemination in a democracy is to enable people to know what is happening, and to understand events so that they may form their own conclusions.”

Is your source transparent and free of bias or driven by an agenda to create predictable results, utilizing demographic groups and fields that support their argument, while neglecting to include those that don’t?

Are you aware that more widely accepted measures (life expectancy, infant mortality, healthcare cost/GDP ratio, per capita expenditure, availability barriers, etc.) show the Canadian system is among the best in the world?

Is your use of this report typical of what is today called stenographic journalism, as described,

Stenography = writing down what sources say

Reporting = discovering and writing down the facts

Yes, it’s a “fact” that sources say things. Among the things they say are assertions of fact. What a good journalist is supposed to do is check a source’s assertions for some kind of correspondence to the facts.

European Consumer Powehouse Report Europe 2009 (2)

Categories: Global TV, Health, Journalism

6 replies »

  1. Thanks for the follow up, Norm, really appreciate what you do here.

    I saw the same Global story and was furious. I'll be making use of the CBSC links next time I see such flagrant disregard of journalistic standards.

    It may help keep the blood pressure down…


  2. Related, only in the sense that we see media members doing whatever they can to keep certain memes in the public eye: Les Leyne's drivel in the Times Colonist Thursday, whereupon he used, as an example of governments making mistakes with respect to legal matters, an 11-year-old case, which cost the grand total of $245 grand. Why did he use that example? Surely not because it involved two current leadership contenders for the NDP.

    I'm sure it was because he couldn't think of a single other instance in which the government made a decision with respect to the courts that cost the taxpayers say, oh, about six million.


  3. Yes, it is amazing that in the last 300 days, BC Liberals faced the house a total four days. Yet they had time to table a report that made “news” of a settlement negotiated by the BC Liberals in 2004 over a claim that originated in 1998. This was so Les Leyne could publish a column and tie tin cans to the political machines of Dix and Farnworth. Did PAB write the column for you Les?


  4. Mr. Farrell, another great post and one wonders why you are not working for the media……oh yes, they do not want hard hitting items, critical of the Liberal government or the 5th estate in our local newspapers.

    Pablum for all!

    Sadly, when future generations dissects the ashes of what remains of Canada, they will say that a corrupted media, let a corrupt government carry on with their corrupt ways.

    The mainstream media should be embarrassed, but no, the three stooges will be on today and probably libeling many bloggists with their arrogance, while the real news stories fester away, unseen, until they consume the country.


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