Mainstream media has lost our trust in the age of COVID-19

Major news outlets have opted to focus on our more primal emotions to keep us tuned into their programs

Mainstream media has lost our trust in the age of COVID-19Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, tells us, “Trust is the glue of life. … It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” Yet trust seems to be in short supply today. Many people don’t trust the mainstream media, the government, large corporations or the medical profession. Their trust is…

Systemic racism is embedded in our economy

We pass laws for unjust taxes, reward unscrupulous businesses and hold money back from our children

Systemic racism is embedded in our economyIn a 2016 interview, CBC journalist Peter Mansbridge confronted children’s advocate Dr. Cindy Blackstock with this statement regarding public funding for Indigenous programs: “Billions of dollars have been spent in trying to come to grips with the situation that so many Indigenous Canadians face. And of those billions, it’s on the record that some of…

Why respectful debate makes society better

Many of us have become very defensive about expressing our views

Why respectful debate makes society betterA 2018 episode of Channel 4 News from the United Kingdom has become rather infamous. Canadian psychologist and professor Jordan Peterson is interviewed by Cathy Newman about his book 12 Rules of Life, feminism and gender identity. Peterson has become very popular among those on the extreme right of the political spectrum. He has also…

The hidebound habits of the journalistic mind

'Reporting' today is simply a note-perfect parrot-squawk of State-approved storylines

The hidebound habits of the journalistic mindAn editor-in-chief infamous for, shall we say, whimsy once decreed no opening sentence of any news story could exceed 21 words. The impromptu commandment unleashed a newsroom tizzy equivalent to what might have erupted if an exotic dancer had walked in bearing a burlap bag full of ferrets and released them during her performance. The…

Believe it or not! First-rate journalists still exists in Canada

In the midst of institutional confusion and ineptness, individual journalists are still holding the powerful to account

Believe it or not! First-rate journalists still exists in CanadaHonesty demands acknowledgement. In recent weeks I’ve written sharp criticism of journalistic performance on a variety of issues. It’s true that at the institutional level, corporate providers of the ceaseless information that floods our waking hours too often resemble a pooch begging for table scraps while running in ever diminishing circles going yip-yip-yip. It would…

Lazy journalism becoming a mouthpiece for the State’s narrative

There is a growing comfort in institutional journalism to follow rather than question

Lazy journalism becoming a mouthpiece for the State’s narrativeWarning lights should always flash before our eyes whenever journalists mix raw numbers and percolating percentages in the same paragraph. Numbers clearly state actuality. Percentages are the ups and downs of context. Regardless of the axiom attributed to Stalin that one death is a tragedy and a million is a statistic, if two people die,…

Cheap talk and unsubstantiated claims hamper reconciliation

Vacuous electoral promises and virtue-signalling schemes won’t deliver the outcomes Indigenous Canadians need

Cheap talk and unsubstantiated claims hamper reconciliationCanada has consistently failed to make progress commensurate with the many lofty pronouncements and expectations on the Indigenous file. It’s a national shame that most Indigenous Canadians on reservations live far below acceptable socio-economic standards. Money isn’t the problem. By 2022, the federal budget allocations to Indigenous will have doubled since 2016 to nearly $25…

When a spy agency cozies up to the media, who do we trust?

Carl Berstein once exposed the existence of a network of CIA-recruited journalists working around the world for the U.S.

When a spy agency cozies up to the media, who do we trust?A few years after he broke the Watergate story, Carl Bernstein quit the Washington Post and spent six months looking at the relationship between the CIA and the press. The result was a 25,000-word cover story in the Oct. 20, 1977, edition of Rolling Stone called The CIA and the Media. The article, still online…

Don’t turn news conferences into Hollywood productions

The camera doesn’t doesn’t lie. The stuffed characters behind the head of government in COVID news conferences are always on

Don’t turn news conferences into Hollywood productionsWho are those people standing behind the newsmaker at press conferences? I see them in the hallways of legislatures when the party leader is making an announcement. I see them in a studio behind the head of government during a COVID-19 news conference. “Oh,” you say, “they’re showing that governing is a team effort and…

Why can’t politicians manage press conferences?

Isn’t it time politicians learned to simulate a real-life encounter with people who have questions?

Why can’t politicians manage press conferences?Head of government: “… and so stay safe.” (Long pause.) Robotic voice: “Our next caller is Scoop Notepad from the Daily Planet.” Scoop: “Hi.” Head of government: “Hi Scoop.” (Pause. Sometimes the greetings are reversed.) Scoop asks a question, head of government responds and then we hear the oddball, robotic voice again. Who is that?…
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