Fake news? Every era had its perpetrators

Early newspapers were often more interested in expressing the opinions of the owners than the facts

Fake news? Every era had its perpetratorsFake news is a popular term these days. It’s hard to imagine why. Much more inflammatory and even manufactured ‘news’ has been with us all through history. Pamphleteers of the French and American revolutions may be the most famous. Among the best was Thomas Paine. But the average person with an axe to grind and…

Racist cop shows, biased news fuel public fears of crime

Portrayals of violent crime in pop culture and media are skewing people's perception of how likely it is to happen to them, says U of A expert

Racist cop shows, biased news fuel public fears of crimeU.S. President Donald Trump tweeted recently that defunding the police would “be good for Robbers & Rapists.” Last week, after signing his tepid executive order on policing, he proffered that “without police, there is chaos.” The reality, however, is that violent crime – the kind that people often think of when rationalizing the need for a…

Could BBC subscription reform work at CBC?

Once a subscription model is implemented, BBC will only survive if it produces content people actually want to watch

Could BBC subscription reform work at CBC?In February, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said the government had “no intention” of imposing licensing requirements on news organisations and will not “try to regulate new content.” The clarification came after Guilbeault told CTV’s Evan Solomon precisely the opposite. During an episode of Question Period, he explained how Canadian news media organisations should be…

How far should we go to stop the social media chaos?

Maybe the problem isn’t the mischief-makers who are planting claims. Maybe it’s the social media themselves that are the problem

How far should we go to stop the social media chaos?Did you know that the Covid-19 virus was created by the emergence of 5G networks? I know this information may come as a bit of a shock to you, but it’s from a doctor in the U.S., so, you know, we have to take it seriously. Dr. Thomas Cowan claimed in a video released on…

We need to make it easier for parents to vaccinate their children

No child should die a preventable death. It's time Canada had a national vaccine framework

We need to make it easier for parents to vaccinate their childrenBy Sen. Raymonde Gagné and Sen. Mohamed-Iqbal Ravalia “As an infectious disease specialist, there is nothing sadder than standing at the bedside of a parent in an ICU with a child who’s got a vaccine preventable disease who is dying.” That’s what Dr. Noni MacDonald, professor of pediatrics at Dalhousie University, told us at a…

Journalism takes another hit in wake of Mueller, Covington fiascos

The damage done to public trust in journalism by not following basic rules of journalism is, at this stage, incalculable

Journalism takes another hit in wake of Mueller, Covington fiascosLast week’s sickening media meltdown means it is back-to-basics time for journalism on this continent. The need for reportorial rehab began when major news outlets repeated a BuzzFeed report – based on unnamed sources – that the Robert Mueller investigation had been told by Michael Cohen that U.S. President Donald Trump directed him to lie…

Can we restore public trust in journalism?

Too many journalists tolerate peers who, through undisciplined abandonment of standards, undermine their craft’s credibility

Can we restore public trust in journalism?It’s long past time that journalists paid attention to the millions of Canadians who don’t trust the news the way we used to. Sure, we could have lost faith because of the #fakenews narrative that has flowed north across the border. Or from learning that many of the characters influencing public reaction to events on…

Reckless rhetoric is no way to debate public policy

The basic presumption of democracy requires us to try to understand one another rather than calling opponents murderers

Reckless rhetoric is no way to debate public policyDennis Raphael, a professor of health policy and management at York University in Toronto, recently penned an opinion piece that represents a low point for discourse about public policy in Canada. Raphael describes the policies of the new Conservative government in Ontario, and specifically the decision not to increase the minimum wage next year, as “social…

Has trust in journalists started to rebound from rock bottom?

A new survey says people are looking at journalism with new respect in these troubled times

Has trust in journalists started to rebound from rock bottom?It’s true. The 2018 survey by Cision of 1,355 journalists from across six countries discovered that perceived trust in professional journalists improved by 20 per cent this year. Cision is a global provider of media software. Yes, sadly, journalists felt underappreciated by 91 per cent of the general public up until last year. And fake…

Did Canada expel Russian diplomats for a false reason?

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland plays fast and loose with the facts if she believes her grandfather wasn't a Nazi collaborator

Did Canada expel Russian diplomats for a false reason?We live in a world where “fake news” is used with near-reckless abandon. But there are moments when real news gets lumped into this category. It blurs fact and fiction, and changes a narrative not for the better but for the worse. Here’s a recent example. Canada recently tossed out four Russian diplomats and refused…
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