Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Feb.8: There's a story...and there's THE story.....

A good editor knows the difference.

The editing of the Moncton Times and Transcript is normally casual to the point of being sloppy. That is noticeable particularly in the NewsToday section. Today's sample of sloppy editing is "Deadly crash raises safety concerns".

The story, as it is covered, is about a traffic accident in Ontrario that killed eleven people. That certainly is worth reporting. But  good editor would have noticed who is was that got killed - migrant farm workers. And alarm bells would have gone off - and the editor would have done some checking with other news sources. That's what other editors in Canada did.

Why does Ontario have migrant farm workers? (These were from Latin America.) It costs money to bring people in from Latin America; and there are, I understand, a great many unemployed Canadians.
Ooooh - and what's this? There are a quarter million migrant farm workers in Canada at any given time. Obviously, there's quite a business in bringing in very, very cheap labour to Canada - even in a time of recession.

That's quite a story - for an editor who's awake.

Nor has the TandT finished with its pimping for the Royal Oaks development project. Brent Mazerolle tops off yesterday's disgraceful piece of propaganda writing with another but more subtle piece of propaganada writing. This one, on the front page, is headed :N.B. to proceed with new school.

It looks like news. But the whole tone is that the new school at Royal Oaks is a done deal  and a very sensible one. Those who object are "grumblers". Any remaining problems are just "rough spots" that will be "smoothed over".

Even if the existing Moncton High were repaired, he reports, there would still be a problem of air quality, among other things. (However, the developers are confident thay can rebuild the old MHS and make it profitable ) Perhaps it could be converted into a retirement home. Old people are more used to bad air.

(How come it can be fixed up and made profitable and safe? But not as a school?)

And we are still left with the question of how this fits into the Moncton City development plan - if there is one. My first high school teaching job was in a brand new school built to satisfy housing promoters in a district very similar to Royal Oaks, (A vast area of houses with lawns and garages heavily dependent on car transportation seemed a practical layout way back then - and the city had no development plan.) Just over a dozen years later, the school was closed, and then sold. There weren't enough students any more.

The developers didn't care. They had tucked away their profits long before.

Let's be positive about this. We can learn.
1. The Moncton city council is low on either brains or integrity - possibly both.
2.There is almost certainly no development plan - or, at least, none that anybody is paying attention to.
3.The Moncton TandT is on the side of the money every time.

And, just to help confirm all the above, the editorial echoes the boot-licking tone established by Brent Mazerolle's "news" stories.

Even the Archie comic strip in today's paper is one I remember from my childhood.

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