Category: Journalism

Hit piece journalism

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.

Bad politics

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.

Surprise is surprising – UPDATED

$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?

“Bullshit is everywhere”

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.

Breaking news broken

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.

Public wealth, private benefit

People who are not profiting – or expecting to profit – from corruption in British Columbia’s political arena, should understand. We all pay. We pay dearly and inescapably. Tens of billions of dollars the Clark gang is gifting to private power producers and billions more paid and payable to foreign owned gas producers might provide for an effective court system, better public education, healthcare, small business support and other citizen priorities.

More honour’d in the breach than the observance

While boasting of wise management and “balanced” budgets, Liberals run up almost $200 billion in public debts and obligations, give away natural resources and help pay for the removals, subsidize corrupt foreign operators, sell public lands for a fraction of value, gift tens of billions to private power operators, enable more than $120 billion of pension funds to be invested without public oversight and spend tens of millions of tax dollars telling us that all is well. Just remember, for Liberals and their pals, all is indeed well.

The misinformation strategy

However, this is a province where government routinely spends billions annually to subsidize multinational resource and power companies and spent 14 years in the courts fighting delivery of educational services to children in need. This government, found by the land’s highest court to be contemptuous of constitutional rights, cannot be counted on to change its priorities.

Journalism 101

A reporter’s job is to get as close to the truth as possible, overriding personal biases and sifting through a rising churn of spin and lies to explain what happened and why it matters. At its highest levels, journalism informs (via scoops and insights that would otherwise be unknown), provokes (via new thoughts and action), and holds powerful people accountable (with no fear or favor).

Behind the ostensible government

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.