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,…

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…

Grad mixes science, journalism in quest for versatile skill set

For Tom Ndekezi, university was a chance to gain practical skills not only for a variety of jobs but a variety of careers

Grad mixes science, journalism in quest for versatile skill setTom Ndekezi remembers hearing a statistic during his second year at university that would drive every decision about his academic future from then on: members of his generation can expect to have six to eight careers in their lifetime. “Not even just jobs, but careers,” said the graduating University of Alberta Faculty of Science student.…

Beware of Twitter – it will bite you in the ass

Examples of tweets destroying careers are numerous. Commit your thoughts to Twitter and you're forever setting your opinions in amber

Beware of Twitter – it will bite you in the assLast week, I got a notice from Twitter that I was ‘celebrating’ 12 years on the social media platform. What an accomplishment. Here are my Twitter stats after 12 years: I have sent out 3,475 tweets. I’m following 50 accounts, one of whom claims to be a graduate of ‘Bovine University.’ Bafflingly, I have 431…

Covid-19 news coverage based more on #fearporn than science

Journalists eager to echo doomsday alarms about pandemic case numbers while ignoring the social devastation of lockdown policies

Covid-19 news coverage based more on #fearporn than scienceIt has long been accepted both within and without the world of journalism that negative news trumps developments of a positive nature pretty much every time. Much may have changed in how news is delivered to people but the old cliches – “if it bleeds it leads” and “newspapers don’t report when airplanes land safely”…

CBC trying to shake free of its mandate as a public broadcaster

The RCI controversy shows CBC’s primary purpose is the acquisition – at the expense of private broadcasters – of audiences and money

CBC trying to shake free of its mandate as a public broadcasterAn uprising backed by former prime minister Joe Clark and actor Donald Sutherland is trying to force the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. to hit pause on its plans to dismantle Radio Canada International (RCI). If successful, the move to save CBC’s once-vaunted service that took Canada to the world will throw a wrench into the CBC’s…

Just the facts? Don’t count on fact-checkers

A closer look at almost every fact-checking organization shows a great deal of politics and vested interests involved

Just the facts? Don’t count on fact-checkersFact-checking takes us past the spin and straight to the truth. Or maybe not. A closer look at almost every fact-checking organization shows a great deal of politics and vested interests involved. Years ago, I went to Snopes.com whenever someone sent me an email thread I wasn’t sure about. I even recommended to others that…

It’s time we all stood up for Julian Assange

What message do we send dictators and the people who live under their tyranny if we don’t have the courage to live up to our own ideals?

It’s time we all stood up for Julian AssangeIt’s very rare to hear Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson and scholar Noam Chomsky agree on anything but a largely underreported topic brings both ends of the political spectrum together: the Julian Assange affair. In a recent interview, Carlson’s guest Glenn Greenwald pointed out that efforts to silence Assange go back to the administration of…

Mainstream media glosses over Indigenous issues

Media need time and resources to understand the issues and seek a range of views within the Indigenous world

Mainstream media glosses over Indigenous issuesYears ago, I was given a great opportunity to be the lead reporter and edit for a national Indigenous newspaper based in Winnipeg, the Drum/First Perspective. The paper no longer exists but the job changed my life in so many ways. I learned much and encountered many Indigenous people across Canada. I profiled many leading…
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