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Cowichan Conversations: All Governments Lie-An Investigation Of The Corporate Media

 

The State of the Corporate Media today-A Critique

Anna Maria Tremonti interviews Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman and Fred Peabody an independent Canadian journalist and film-maker whose documentary-‘All Governments Lie’ will be released

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. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: All Governments Lie-An Investigation Of The Corporate Media

A Different Point of View....: 50 years of great Investigative Journalism, from ‘This Hour’ to Amy Goodman

Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to hear some of North America’s top investigative journalists speak.

One recent evening it was Amy Goodman, the amazing do-it-all journalist with Democracy Now, the independent U.S. radio and TV program. She gave an uplifting (for any journalist or would-be journalist) talk – ironically from the bowels of the CBC, where a lot of great journalism has been dying in recent years.

(Note: The hour-long Democracy Now radio program is available on some university or community-oriented stations in Canada. I highly recommend it. )

The evening was sponsored by the Canadian Journalism Foundation, which was created to boost corporate journalism in the country. Asking the questions was Globe and Mail Editor-in-Chief David Walmsley.

When it was announced Goodman was coming to Toronto, I was surprised and disappointed that her journalistic integrity might rub off on the Globe and Mail, which, among other things, fired all of its progressive columnists over a period of time.

From Left: Amy Goodman | Michael Maclear | Walter Stewart 

Goodman, a tiny, engaging woman, has certainly been one of America’s top journalists over the past 20 years. She emphasized the importance of journalists giving voice to the voiceless – going to the places where (in terms of media) there is silence.

Goodman described how she and fellow investigative journalist Allan Nairn came close to being shot at point blank range while trying to stop the military from massacring dozens of people in East Timor in the early 1990s. Goodman and Nairn were spared, possibly because they made it clear they were Americans and the weapons used by the soldiers were made in the U.S.

In those days, I knew Allan Nairn as a sometimes nervous and distant voice over the telephone. I was a producer with the CBC Radio Sunday Morning program, and we took in Allan’s dramatic stories over the phone about the atrocities in East Timor, as well as his stories from other hot spots.

I never got to meet Allan Nairn, but over the years I learned a lot by listening to speeches by some of North America’s top journalists.


Several of them came to speak at the conferences of the original Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ)  (now the Canadian Association of Journalists), an organization I helped set up in 1978.

Several of them are/were Canadians: Walter Stewart, as good an investigative reporter and author as you’ll find anywhere. When he passed away, The Globe and Mail headed his obituary with: “He was Canada’s Conscience.”

The little-known Ron Haggart, a bit of a grump who didn’t like speaking publicly, was one of Canada’s greats as the guts and backbone of the fifth estate for many years. A prolific author of letters to newspapers, Haggart never suffered fools gladly.

We also heard from Linden MacIntyre, recently retired from the more recent era of the fifth estate. MacIntyre, now an author, has great journalistic instincts, and is a wonderful story teller. He also was probably the most trusted journalist in Canada over the last 20 years.

British-born Michael Maclear became a legend among Canadian journalists who idolized the man for his independent-minded coverage of the Vietnam War. He worked for both CBC and CTV. Maclear strongly believed that documentaries needed to reflect a point of view. He was most proud of his independent film, Vietnam Goes to War.

This Hour Has Seven Days was probably Canada’s best-ever current affairs show. Its’ confrontational methods were used so effectively to hammer unsuspecting politicians that the CBC took it off the air. It ran for less than two years in the 1960s. Over the years, the CIJ showed many of the program’s amazing episodes, and heard from its hosts, including the cool Patrick Watson.

On the U.S. side, I got to hear and know Seymour Hersh, perhaps America’s most outstanding modern-day journalist. Hersh reminded me of Walter Stewart because they both had a nose and determination to uncover a big story. Hersh is the guy who broke the story about the Vietnam My Lai massacre and cover-up . His Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation helped turn Americans against their futile and insane war in Southeast Asia.

Noam Chomsky, perhaps America’s most important progressive/anarchist thinker, to my knowledge, has never been a journalist.  But several of his many books have set high standards for investigative journalism. He can talk about any topic under the sun for at least three hours non-stop. When Chomsky spoke, we needed a heavy-handed moderator to try to keep him on the topic he was supposed to speak about.

I’ll briefly mention two other greats of a bygone era I’ve heard speak: Jessica Mitford exposed the corruption in the U.S. funeral business; and Morton Mintz  investigated corporate misconduct in the tobacco, automotive and pharmaceutical industries for The Washington Post during the days when it was a great paper. In 1971, he co-wrote America, Inc.: Who Owns and Operates the United States

Over all those years, I heard only one famous journalist give a laughable speech. Dan Rather  was once Mr. All-American Journalist. He built a bit of a reputation working in small cities in Texas, rose to the face of CBC Nightly News, and went on to be a star with 60 Minutes.

By the way, I’ve always felt that 60 Minutes aired a lot of “pretend investigative journalism.” The show almost always sought out and exposed “bad guys” on the fringes of corporate America. Easy pickins. They never took on the systematic problems of any aspect of capitalism. The public though the program was great. The on-air presenters were pretty much all millionaires.

I also had no respect for the 60 Minutes staff because of its unethical behaviour in some situations. Producers monitored other media across the U.S. for little-known but excellent investigative pieces. The pieces were often written by low-paid journalists at small papers. Then 60 Minutes would swoop in with a TV crew for perhaps four days and do up the story. What bugged me was that 60 Minutes broadcast its phoney scoop, usually with no credit given to the local journalist and certainly no compensation. 

Back to my story: In the 1980s, I was a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S.-based Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE). I’m not sure what year it was, but we were excited that Dan Rather was coming to deliver the keynote address.

The first part of the speech was okay, though I can’t remember what he said. The room was full of many of America’s top investigative journalists. So what was the message of this icon of journalism: He explained over and over again that good journalism had to be: “Deep and down the middle.”

What? That’s it? While there was no laughter in the room, there was a lot of snickering. Maybe Rather though he was addressing a first-year journalism school class.

Following Amy Goodman’s speech on Thursday there was a tense moment. Earlier, she made it clear that she has no time for corporate journalism. This caused the Globe’s Walmsley to squirm a little in his chair. During the question period, someone in the audience asked Goodman what she thought about the fact that the Globe had endorsed the Harper government.

Avoiding a possible dust-up with the Globe, Goodman politely said she didn’t know the situation well enough to respond.

During the question, the Globe Editor-in-Chief squirmed even more than before, and I seemed to detect his face turned a little red. He nervously leaned forward and said to the effect: “Wow I dodged that one.”

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Contact Nick Fillmore at fillmore0274@rogers.com

. . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: 50 years of great Investigative Journalism, from ‘This Hour’ to Amy Goodman

Politics and its Discontents: Politics and its Discontents 2015-01-02 11:29:00

Yesterday, The Mound of Sound had a post on the role that Pope Francis is playing in the climate change debate. Given his growing moral authority and extensive popularity throughout the world, those with vested interests in retaining the status quo that is destroying the earth, and their aiders and abettors, (Stephen Harper et alia), . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Politics and its Discontents 2015-01-02 11:29:00

The Canadian Progressive: American Jewish Leader Henry Siegman on Gaza: “A Slaughter of Innocents” (VIDEO)

“A slaughter of innocents,” Henry Siegman, an American Jewish leader and leading Voice of U.S. Jewry, says of Israel’s ongoing war crimes in Gaza.

The post American Jewish Leader Henry Siegman on Gaza: “A Slaughter of Innocents” (VIDEO) appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: The World Cup You Won’t See on TV: Protests, Tear Gas, Displaced Favela Residents

Democracy Now! discusses the stuff you won’t see on TV during the ongoing 2014 World Cup competition in Brazil: poverty, protests, tear gas, and displaced favela fesidents.

The post The World Cup You Won’t See on TV: Protests, Tear Gas, Displaced Favela Residents appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

Politics and its Discontents: For Those Who Don’t Know Their Place

What do you do when citizens believe that democratic rights should be more than an illusion? Call in the authorities to remind them of their true place in the foodchain.

On a related topic, The Star’s Rosie DiManno has an excoriating assessment of yet another free pass given by the SIU to the officers . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: For Those Who Don’t Know Their Place

Cowichan Conversations: Edward Snowden Allowed Into Russia Weeks After Outing Himself as the NSA Leaker

The National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has been given permission leave the Moscow airport where he has been stranded for over a month. Snowden applied for… Read More

Cowichan Conversations: Democracy Now on the Death of Hugo Chavez

 

 

Take a few minutes to watch and listen to Amy Goodman one of our top alternate journalists as she hosts a panel discussion the death of Hugo Chavez.

 

 

 

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Democracy Now on the Death of Hugo Chavez

The Canadian Progressive: “We Steal Secrets”: The Story of WikiLeaks (VIDEO)

by Guest Blogger | Jan 27, 2013: Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney discusses his new documentary, “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks” with Amy Goodman, the host of Democracy Now! The film examines the key players involved in the whistleblowing website’s release of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables to the whistleblowing website . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: “We Steal Secrets”: The Story of WikiLeaks (VIDEO)

Cowichan Conversations: Unist’ot’en Action Camp: Stopping Pipelines In Their Tracks

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

It struck me from the outset that the Natives were Canada’s best chance for pushback against corporate and oil and gas interests. Who else could or would stop the Enbridge Pipeline, the Keystone, the Pacific Trails Pipeline, the fracking?

The NDP today is a mere shadow of the past progressive . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Unist’ot’en Action Camp: Stopping Pipelines In Their Tracks

Canadian ProgressiveCanadian Progressive: The Invisible War: Rape, Sexual Assault Epidemic in U.S. Military (VIDEO)

Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman unpacks ”The Invisible War” a new documentary that examines the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the U.S. military. She speaks to Trina McDonald and Kori Cioca, two subjects of the film, and the film’s Academy Award-nominated director, Kirby Dick. A recent military survey shows that “the number of reported violent . . . → Read More: Canadian ProgressiveCanadian Progressive: The Invisible War: Rape, Sexual Assault Epidemic in U.S. Military (VIDEO)

Canadian ProgressiveCanadian Progressive: Alice Walker: Racism, Violence Against Women Are Global Issues (VIDEO)

On the 30th anniversary of the publication of her groundbreaking novel “The Color Purple,” American author, poet and activist Alice Walker sat down with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, and discussed the novel’s enduring legacy, racism, violence against women, Obama’s presidency and global issues. When Goodman probed her role as a prominent Middle East peace . . . → Read More: Canadian ProgressiveCanadian Progressive: Alice Walker: Racism, Violence Against Women Are Global Issues (VIDEO)

Canadian Progressive: Occupy Wall Street 1 Year Later: A Roundtable Discussion

Democracy Now host Amy Goodman hosts a roundtable discussion of Occupy Wall Street movement on its 1 year anniversary with the following experts: Frances Fox Piven, an author and professor at City University of New York who has studied social movements for decades; Nathan Schneider, editor of the blog Waging Nonviolence, which has extensively covered . . . → Read More: Canadian Progressive: Occupy Wall Street 1 Year Later: A Roundtable Discussion

Politics and its Discontents: Media Quietude Over Climate Change

A few months ago, when we were seeing mid-summer temperatures during early spring, I remember Tom Brown, the CTV weatherman, looking grim and saying words to the effect that “This is something we all need to be concerned about.” It was, I assume, a brave but oblique allusion to climate change.

Why . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Media Quietude Over Climate Change