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In-Sights: Stenographic journalism

Writing in Salon, maverick journalist Glenn Greenwald criticized news reporting that follows the stenographic model. It involves repeating what people say without any effort to judge the truthfulness of statements or the facts of the situation under re… . . . → Read More: In-Sights: Stenographic journalism

Alberta Politics: You tell me, Dear Readers: Did I unfairly beat the Wildrose finance critic like a piñata?

PHOTO: Your blogger, at right, wearing the brand new string tie he just bought in Santa Fe, takes a whack at Derek Fildebrandt, the Wildrose Opposition’s finance critic. Actual Alberta politicians and political commentators may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Derek Fildebrandt; Globe and Mail reporter Carrie Tait; the famous Globe headline […]

The post You tell me, Dear Readers: Did I unfairly beat the Wildrose finance critic like a piñata? appeared first on Alberta Politics. Can we talk politics without lashon hara?

Over the course of the election campaign to this point, the Jewish community has seen repeated and sometimes flagrant violations of halachic and ethical prohibitions against lashon hara – wicked speech – and some of the 31 transgressions related to it, such as unnecessarily engendering controversy and division. But although negative politicking has become more […] Jewish issues at centre of partisan sniping

Jewish issues and candidates made headlines last week and became the subject of some distasteful political rhetoric on the campaign trail. In Alberta, a 21-year-old hijab-wearing university student resigned Aug. 18 as the Liberal candidate in the Tory stronghold of Calgary Nose Hill a day after conservative activists publicized noxious tweets from her past. Ala […]

Alberta Politics: Code Crossover: How long before the Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Sun are merged?

ILLUSTRATIONS: Sun Journal, or Journal Sun? Hyphen or no hyphen? Broadsheet or tabloid? Now that Journal subscribers are being pitched the Sunday Sun, and the two papers’ staffs will soon be working at the same address, amalgamation is only a matter of time. With apologies to the Lewiston, Maine, Sun Journal, whose front page I […]

The post Code Crossover: How long before the Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Sun are merged? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Things Are Good: Iceland Wants to Help Journalists Expose Real Threats

Iceland continues on it’s quest to be the ‘Switzerland of data‘ and is extending its program to do so for journalists. Part of the country’s plan to become a haven for people exposing the immoral and questionable behaviour of powerful people is already in action. Iceland is quickly achieving its goal of not only protecting data but also protecting people who analyze and process that data.

The motivation for Iceland to lead this charge comes out of a first-hand knowledge of how devastating a lack of transparency can be. Iceland’s financial crash of 2008 was catastrophic to the (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: CBC House Cleaning Claims the Vapid Evan

Evan Solomon was always a pathetic pseudo-journalist.

Ask an intriguing question, politician spins or lies or evades or trots out talking points, then Evan…what does he do? Move on. Nothing to see here.

Waste of air.

The world is better off with him off the air.

January 10, 2014 What Does Post-Corporate Media Look Like? (0) February 5, 2014 The Media Corruption Trifecta! (5) November 26, 2013 More CBC Privatization (2) February 25, 2012 Yas A., Kagan Goh and Carmen Aguirre: Monday at 6pm on COOP Radio (0)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Flawed analysis

Following the passing of Alberta’s Conservative party, Macleans writer Colby Cosh described a drawn-out illness that made the result inevitable. Followers of British Columbia politics will recognize symptoms also found west of the Alberta border: Elections Alberta, despite some political and legal controversies, did important work in investigating and documenting the web of illegal kickbacks from schools, municipalities, and other provincial institutions that the Progressive Conservatives had come to take for granted in hinterland Alberta.

Political financing disclosures added to this picture, showing that the PCs have consistently relied on donations from corporate clients of government—contractors, builders, professional associations—that would (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Mohamed Fahmy “has no relation to the Muslim Brotherhood”

A billionaire telecoms tycoon has told an Egyptian court that Mohamed Fahmy, a journalist and Canadian citizen, “has no relation to the Muslim Brotherhood”

The post Mohamed Fahmy “has no relation to the Muslim Brotherhood” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Cracks in credibility remain

Two days ago, retired journalist and TV newsman Harvey Oberfeld headlined, “Bell Media President Brings Shame to CTV.”

Today, the company reacted to disclosures Bell Media President Kevin Crull interfered with news coverage that affected Bell’s business interests.

BCE announces departure of Kevin Crull from Bell Media BCE Inc. today announced that Kevin Crull will depart from the position of President of Bell Media effective today.

“Kevin Crull departs Bell with our thanks for his contributions to our customers and shareholders,” said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE Inc…

“However, the independence of Bell (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Shining a light

Glenn Greenwald, “A key purpose of journalism is to provide an adversarial check on those who wield the greatest power by shining a light on what they do in the dark, and informing the public about those acts.”

A BC political journalist, “For sums paid to my agents at the National Speakers Bureau, you can engage my undivided attention and I will shine a light for you, enabling your organization to deal successfully with those who wield the greatest power. I won’t inform the public about acts done in the dark.”

From the Code of Ethics of the (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Chomsky on media

What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream, Noam Chomsky, Z Magazine, October, 1997

Part of the reason why I write about the media is because I am interested in the whole intellectual culture, and the part of it that is easiest to study is the media. It comes out every day. You can do a systematic investigation. You can compare yesterday’s version to today’s version. There is a lot of evidence about what’s played up and what isn’t and the way things are structured.

…The real mass media are basically trying to divert people. Let them do something else, but (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: The moderating effect of moderation

RossK writes about the Pro-Media Club and its implicit rulebook, which includes a requirement that no one reprove a colleague, even if overstatements and misrepresentations morph into purposeful lies. The blog world doesn’t follow those guidelines so we can point at any load of old codswallop encountered. In coverage of the Metro Vancouver transit plebiscite, there is plenty, particularly from alternative media that claim to publish content less influenced by special interests. Unfortunately, the interests are still special, just different.

Writing in a Vancouver Observer “Special Report”, Paul Hillsdon presents implications of a “NO” vote. These are but a few: (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Setting priorities

I’ve written about politics influenced by a captured and compliant press. This is from a helpful Canadian Press article published by Macleans Magazine weeks before the last BC election: …A Liberal government would dedicate all revenues from liquefied natural gas and a proposed oil refinery in Kitimat to debt reduction until all provincial debt is eliminated, said Clark. She pointed out that the New Democrats have said they will increase taxes on the LNG industry.

B.C. would be debt-free in 15 years under her stewardship, she said, and the Liberals would tie government spending increases to the rate of (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Agenda journalism

Black Press political reporter Tom Fletcher, whose wife is a Public Affairs Officer for the BC Liberal Government, occasionally recalls the nineties: The dark decade, the dismal decade, the decade of destruction …when investment, jobs and people packed up and headed for the B.C. border in response to the NDP governments of Mike Harcourt and Glen Clark…

That is Fletcher’s memory and he reminds community newspaper readers throughout British Columbia whenever convenient. Many of us remember differently. BC Stats, a division of the provincial government, provides information to test Fletcher’s accuracy. First, we can determine if people were departing (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Oh, what a tangled web we weave…

I will comment about BC Budget 2014 after more study but I’ve read a few reports from media stenographers. Studying detail takes more time than rewording notes issued by the gaggle of Liberal flacks paid for by munificent taxpayers. One Globe & Mail report, written by the father of an executive assistant in the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, is titled, “How B.C. balanced its books by controlling health-care costs.”

Credibility of the piece is revealed by its first sentence, When B.C. Premier Christy Clark made debt reduction an early priority of her government…

Priority? (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: MORE Sexism Against Female Canadian Athletes!

THIS picture respects the dignity of a tennis player. Not, “give us a twirl” demeaning, sexist abuse.

Today is a terrible day for gender equity in sports. What it looks like is either continued sexism, or increased anti-feminist backlash against women who have been asserting their human rights to safety and dignity around the world.

Female World Cup soccer players have to play on plastic artificial turf while the men have played on actual…grass. They started a human rights complaint but have now dropped it. And last year at the Australian Open, an idiotic [female!] Australian media interviewer asked (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Nobody’s servant…

North Van’s Grumps is the proprietor of Blog Borg Collective. While I search for material in the main aisles of information warehouses, NVG prowls the dark recesses. Happily, he shares many discovered gems and I appreciate him as a source of valuable leads.

In comments on the last article here, NVG connected us with a piece of work by the late Hubert Beyer, a journalist who covered public and political affairs in British Columbia. This is an introduction but I urge you to follow the link for the entire piece.

“When the press fails to keep its distance from politicians” (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Real Journalism: Holding Harper To Account

Unlike the kind of faux journalism that the CBC’s most reverent chief correspondent, Peter Mansbridge, has perfected, real journalism requires critical thinking and hard-hitting questions. In that, The Toronto Star holds to consistently high standards.

To appreciate this fact, consider first the following exchange during the year-end interview the Prime Minister granted his media acolyte:

Mansbridge: So why don’t we propose something then?

Harper: We have proposed something.

What have we proposed? Well the Province of Alberta, excuse me, the Province of Alberta itself already has a, it’s one of the few GHD regulatory environments in the country. It (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: In the Time of the "Official Truth" There’s No Room for Journalism

John Pilger looks at what the Western media offer up as journalism and sees instead propaganda.  He sees the essence of the mainstream media as not information but power.

The world is facing the prospect of major war, perhaps nuclear war – with the United States clearly determined to isolate and provoke Russia and eventually China. This truth is being turned upside down and inside out by journalists, including those who promoted the lies that led to the bloodbath in Iraq in 2003. The times we live in are so dangerous and so distorted in public perception that propaganda is (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: From Andrew Mitrovica

[View the story "Media accountability, or lack thereof" on Storify]

drive-by planet: Whistleblower Udu Ulfkotte exposes CIA hand in German media: ‘German politicians are US puppets’

“We’re talking about puppets on a string, journalists who write or say whatever their masters tell them to say or write. If you see how the mainstream media is reporting about the Ukraine conflict and if you know what’s really going on, you get the picture. The masters in the background are pushing for war with Russia and western journalists are putting on their helmets.”

- From an interview with German journalist Udo Ulfkotte.

A new book by Ulfkotte entitled Bought Journalists: How Politicians, Intelligence and High Finance Control Germany’s Mass Media has taken the lid off the tactics (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: All the spin that’s fit to print

This week, British Columbia saw evidence that corporate media does not report adverse details about public finance unless the material is dropped on desks in digested form, complete with defensive spin from government or industry.

The issue of BC taxpayer subsidies to the oil and gas industry is not new. Auditor General John Doyle qualified his opinion of the province’s 2012 financial statements for reasons that included this: “Failure to provide for earned natural gas producer royalty credits “No provision has been made in the summary financial statements for royalty credits earned bynatural gas producers under the government’s deep-well (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Hedonists of power

Chris Hedges wrote many words for the New York Times; some of them wrong. He participated in false reporting that helped orchestrate invasion of Iraq by the coalition of the dragged kicking and screaming. He recognized error though and became an articulate critic of his nation’s aggression. The NYT, which preferred the Bush administration’s version of truth, condemned Hedges and encouraged his departure.

He is sometimes controversial but always thought provoking. His latest column at Truthdig is a good one: The Myth of the Free Press. An excerpt: “The mass media blindly support the ideology of corporate capitalism. They laud (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Election-Eve Racist, Sexist Attack on Olivia Chow

If this cartoon were published, say, 2 weeks before the election, it would have been debated as a tool of racist, sexist propaganda and yet another blemish on corporate media. Her support would likely have grown after such a brutally immature attack.

But because politics is a dirty, disgusting, sociopathic game, it was published the day before the Ontario municipal election.

Read what Olivia Chow thinks of it below:

Chow told CP24 she thinks the cartoon is “disgusting.”

“Because I am Chinese-Canadian, I must be a communist and have slanted eyes and glasses … and since I am a (Read more…)