The BC Press Gallery has been a private club, reluctant to admit new members. Emma Gilchrist, co-founder of The Narwhal and Executive Director of its predecessor Desmog Canada, had media privileges blocked at the Legislature by Tom Fletcher, then Press Gallery president. Fletcher, the Black Press advocate for climate change denial and right-wing libertarianism, concluded that Desmog was an “advocacy organization and not a media outlet.” As a result, Emma Gilchrist’s organization was not eligible for journalistic accreditation at the Legislature.
Following Liberal defeat in the Nanaimo byelection, Global TV reporter Sarah MacDonald talked to Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson for the 11pm newscast. Breathlessly, she asked what is probably the worst question in the history of BC political reporting…
Check out the fine work on electoral reform by Merv Adey 2018 fellowship recipient Andrew Seal. It’s a fabulous five part series published by The Tyee. We’d like to raise additional funds to initiate the next fellowship. You can be sure it will support a comprehensive examination of a subject important to all British Columbians.
The Fraser Institute declares Tax Freedom Day each year. It is an inaccurate trick to further interests of the millionaires and billionaires for whom the “charity” works. Many of those people use overseas tax shelters so their tax freedom day falls in January. Don’t expect Fraser Institute to mention Earth Overshoot Day, “the date when we (all of humanity) have used more from nature than our planet can renew in the entire year.” Do not expect Canada’s mass media to pay much attention either
A person shilling for the pension funds management business complained about my recent article revealing extravagant salaries at the BC Investment Management Corporation (BMI). He wrote that I was a bitter old man…
Bill Good is in the news this week. David Ball wrote about this news reader turned political activist in the The Star Vancouver. In years past, Mr. Good was a favourite subject of this blog, even though he seemed to have little regard for bloggers…
In British Columbia, ethical rules of news gathering are not always followed. Some offences are minor, others are significant…
Postmedia’s Colby Cosh demonstrates the truth of Jefferson’s quote, “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”
Merv Adey was a passionate British Columbian and a regular and welcome fixture in social media. Following his passing in 2017, a group of his friends sponsored a fellowship in his name to promote journalistic excellence and insightful debate on electoral reform.
Because many traditional news sources have been sidetracked by political, commercial and personal interests, acquiring accurate information is now more time-consuming. People with other priorities are vulnerable to lies of commission and lies of omission. Postmedia’s obfuscating political reporters are experienced practitioners of new style journalism.
I made reference to BC Legislative Press Gallery members producing commissioned articles. These are public relations pieces intended to serve particular needs of government or entities doing business with government. It is the kind of output that will ultimately be replaced by automated journalism. Mike Smyth’s recent Province column provides an example… Were Smyth not shilling for private producers, he could be a champion of reducing power consumption through increased energy efficiency. However, there are no industry or environmental groups in BC with sufficient funds to push conservation as a serious alternative to generating more power, whether by hydro, wind, solar, tidal, geothermal or any other technology.
If one looks at economic disasters of the past, one thing is certain. Warning signs were obvious to people who paid close attention but were ignored by the rest. You can be sure that Erik Andersen’s concern arises from paying attention to rising debt levels and how the ordinary public will ultimately be left with an unaffordable burden.
Rafe Mair was a man with long experience in government, journalism and political activism. He warned us of the consequences after Canada’s largest newspaper chain crawled in bed with the fossil fuel industry.
The BC Business Party told many contemptuous lies during its tenure but ones involving LNG were the largest. The captured corporate media crew in BC’s Legislative Press Gallery facilitated Liberal untruthfulness by failing to look behind or beyond government press releases. Attentive research would have convinced any objective researcher that government was telling tall tales when it projected an almost $3 billion a month increase in in gross domestic product (GDP).
Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.
Hunter S. Thompson: “As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.”
Politically connected individuals took advantage of citizens’ desire for clean, renewable energy and the Liberals wrote contracts with “lucky firms” that bore no relationship to market prices and guaranteed massive private profits and ensured all financial risks were carried by the public. The contracts in British Columbia last as long as sixty years and involve prices that are now as much as 5x market value. In addition, the contracts have annual inflation escalators.
One of the brighter contributors on my Twitter feed is Reema Faris. She is a PHD candidate at SFU, a former West Vancouver school trustee and member of a family that has long given extraordinary support to the arts in Canada. Reema’s social media contributions are invariably astute, logical and worthy of attention. With permission, here are threads she published in response to insubstantial punditry found in Postmedia’s Vancouver pages.
By slanting news or withholding information, media affect what a large segment of the public knows or does not know about public affairs. If groups profit improperly through actions of government, rewards can be immense but, if the looters control media, they can act in the shadows. The checks and balances within a democracy are distorted if media becomes a subsidiary of vested interests. Accurate public discourse is discouraged or impossible.
Former broadcaster George Orr created TALK!, an excellent documentary that will appeal to every person who valued radio for being unique in each community it served. TALK! explores broadcasting and how the functions of commercial operations are driven by self-interest, not by communities needs. While fishing for the story of radio, George lands by-catch. It’s a politician we all know.