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).
Thanks to the responses of Merv Adey’s friends and admirers, we will soon be announcing a fellowship to be awarded a recent graduate of a recognized journalism program.
The 2018 fellowship will include cash sufficient for weeks of research and writing time, with a workspace provided along with mentoring and editorial assistance by respected professional journalists. Publication will follow in an important online news magazine.
We will be proposing a public interest subject that is important and timely for BC citizens.
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.
$101 billion in contractual obligations is breathtaking? What is really surprising is that Toronto Globe and Mail’s BC political reporter didn’t notice before February of 2017. On one hand, I applaud Ms. Hunter for daring to mention the subject now. On the other hand, I wonder why she previously avoided this huge issue and did not report it fully in her newspaper?
For eight years now, I’ve been posting words on the Internet. I was influenced in the beginning by my first two grandsons, now pushing 11 years of age. I looked at these youngsters, and the ones that followed, and concluded that I owed a duty to agitate for a better world. I want all children to have best possible opportunities for education and opportunity, to live in a society that is fair and respectful to people and values the environmental riches of our land.
I’m happy to have been involved in this commitment but I hope the May election will be a turning point. It will be a time to decide whether or not the powerful self-interests of privileged people are insurmountable.
Government forecasts that four year natural gas royalties total, 2017 through 2020, may be $926 million but that doesn’t deduct any growth in production tax credits that industry is accruing but government is not recording. In the past four years, the liability to producers increased by $1,158 million. If the liability for unrecorded credits – amounts that can be deducted from future royalties – continues to grow at the rate of the past four years, BC will receive no net gas royalties, provided that a more honest government begins to record the liability. There is already $2+ billion owed to producers.
Jesse Brown’s Canadaland is an aweless romp through public affairs, mostly Toronto-centric but striving to pay attention, occasionally at least, to stories outside Upper Canada. Canadaland is on my podcast list and […]
My children’s grandmother spent final years in our home. She lived for the children and was an oxygen-tank-dragging regular in front row seats at hockey rinks, ball fields, rec centres and concert […]