Saturday, January 3, 2015

Nobody's servant...

North Van's Grumps is the proprietor of Blog Borg Collective. While I search for material in the main aisles of information warehouses, NVG prowls the dark recesses. Happily, he shares many discovered gems and I appreciate him as a source of valuable leads.

In comments on the last article here, NVG connected us with a piece of work by the late Hubert Beyer, a journalist who covered public and political affairs in British Columbia. This is an introduction but I urge you to follow the link for the entire piece.

"When the press fails to keep its distance from politicians" Victoria Report by Hubert Beyer
...The traditional distance reporters have kept between themselves and politicians they are supposed to watch, has been replaced by an atmosphere of kinship and affinity.

At a recent Government House dinner hosted by Lieutenant-Governor Stephen Rogers for members of the press gallery, government house leader Bruce Strachan showed up. What the hell, I want to know, was a politician doing at a dinner for the press?

I wasn't at the dinner, but I was told that Strachan referred to press gallery members as servants of the legislature. I've got news for you, Bruce. I'm nobody's servant. Not yours and not the legislature's.

Aside from making my living at journalistic endeavors, the only reason I am in the press gallery is to keep an eye on politicians and tell readers what they're up to. I can't see how playing ball with politicians or drinking beer and eating pizza with them could possibly help me in that task.

By joining the politicians in this happy family environment, reporters are allowing themselves to be co-opted. And that spells bad news for the public which expects the press to be at arm's length from the politicians...

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1 comment:

  1. Excellent post Norm, NVG is always a very interesting read too!

    The current pom-pom Lege press should be squirming like worms. Instead they are mostly very comfortable with their feet up at their desks reporting the Liberal bent stories fed daily to them which they reguritate with smug pride to the masses. They and the Liberals benefit at great cost to the citizens of BC.




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