Sunday, December 19, 2010

anonymous (2)

Newpaper people don't have to be told the boss's agenda. Any cub reporter who doesn't catch on early is soon out of a job.
I was a regular on CBC (weekly) for ten years in Montreal. francophone CBC (in the same buidling) was openly separatist, and openly active for the PQ. Anglo CBC's policy was to avoid being contentious. They got nervous even when I did a  history about popular myths of English Quebec (like all the English being rich. In f act, I was very working class anglo - and there were five anglo schools in my district, all within walking distance. Historically, there were a small number of rich anglos, but the majority of them were among the poorest in Quebec.) CBC was already nervous about me. When I became Vice-President of the provincial Anglo rights that took Quebec to the Supreme Court over Bill 101 (and won), I was instantly fired.
So I went to private radio on a daily basis.

Every journalist in Canada, and many non-journalists know about  New Brunswick newspapers. It was a very public matter some years ago when Ottawa dared to question whether one group should control all the newspaper in one province. KC was furious at Ottawa's even asking. He established residence in the Bahamas, making it clear he was doing it to escape paying taxes to Ottawa. That story was very public.

How many articles in any New Brunswick paper have  you ever seen that have criticized a project associated with its owner? Why does AIMS instantly get a column for every "research" report it covers? Why did the editors launch into a shameful series of tirades against public education in the past year? Is it a coincidence this suited AIMS which was, and presumably still is, associated with the newspaper ownership wanted that?
You don't need an agenda. A quiet phone call to the editor is enough to get him enthusiastic about runing one story, and not another - about taking one editorial line and not another. Often, it doesn't take that.
When neo-conservative Jeb Bush came here to speak to a business gathering associated with AIMS to speak as an expert on education, TheTand T made sure it was well covered, and on the first page. They didn't have to be told. I'm sure they didn't even have to tell the reporter not to ask Jeb Bush what made him an authority on education.
When something less than one percent of parents affected by the MHS closing held a protest, it got so much coverage, one would think they represented 99%.
Have you ever seen it give information about the neo-conservative think tanks. It's easy enough to google it. They never have, and they never even call them neo-conservative. Can you imagine they would be so silent if it were a socialist think tank? And can you imagine they would run the latter's "research reports" routinely on their op ed page?
I have never in any publication across Canada seen anything like the gutter editorials by the Tand T on public education. (though The Globe once came close.) The person who wrote that could not survive on any paper in Canada without the approval of the ownership.
Essentially, what the TandT prints is either local boosterism or neo-conservative propaganda. No professional journalist can look at a copy of any issue of the New Brunswick press without recognizing what it is.
Oh, remember the Economic Summit that supposedly represented groups across New Brunswick. The only group I saw quoted was big business. Did you notice any reporting of  what the university presidents thought, for example?

1 comment:

  1. THere may well be something to your premise but I have to admit I am more inclined to put it down to incompetent newspeople and perhaps some personal agendas (possibly in an attempt to curry favor with Saint John???) rather than a decreed gameplan. Maybe I'm wouldn't be the first time....