The Sir Robert Bond Papers: A week and a verdict later #nlpoli

Last Saturday, this headline (left) in the Telegram prompted a storm of outrage from people who thought that it placed the blame for a sexual assault on the victim. The words were essentially what the victim had said during her testimony in the trial.  They were also a more blunt version of what both the ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Mythical Golden Age of Newfoundland News #nlpoli

Ray Guy, on the endless search for truth in local newsrooms (circa 1974): Sometimes you get the feeling that the newsrooms of the city are as divorced from reality as the earth is distant from the sun. Their almost exclusive stock-in-trade has become the reports of speeches, seminars, election campaigns, council meetings, legislative shenanigans, endless press ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: S’truth and consequences #nlpoli

Truth and something else was clearly in the atmosphere this week as the Telegram’s Russell Wangersky offered a few thoughts on the subject in his Tuesday column. But if we reach a point where anything true can be discounted, and anything false can be announced as true, where do we go to ensure that we’re making the best ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Trust, facts, and truth #nlpoli

Trust is the foundation of any strong relationship.  That’s why a great many journalists, troubled at the decline of their industry, emphasise the importance of trust in re-establishing a solid relationship between the news media and the folks who used to be their captive market. Canadian and American news media are in a comparable position ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Captain Sweatpants and the future of news media #nlpoli

The numbers are so large they take your breath away. In a poll conducted for The Public Policy Forum for its recent report on Canadian news media, eight “out of 10 respondents said they actively follow the news (with education, not age, being the main determinant).”  As pollster Allan Gregg noted in an article for Policy ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Classroom Jungle #nlpoli

CBC aired the first  of three half hour programs on Monday night featuring a bunch of teachers talking about problems in the Newfoundlandand Labrador school system.  The rest will come along over the next couple of weeks. To be perfectly clear, CBC claims ownership of the programs but, by the looks of things, CBC had ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: What is it about Quebec and mass killings? #nlpoli

Compared to the United States, there haven’t been a lot of mass killings in Canada. Period.  Full stop. Canadais predominantly white and Christian and researchers tell us that across the world, men are usually the perpetrators of mass killings.  That’s why what CBC’s Neil Macdonald calls an inconvenient truth is really a penetrating insight into the obvious. ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Local news media in the post-factual world #nlpoli

Chris O’Neill-Yates is a veteran CBC journalist.  Like most people in her line of work,  Chris is on Twitter plugging both her own work and commenting on events in the world around her. Not surprisingly, Chris has been fascinated  – appalled might be a better word for it – by events in the United States ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Ratings trump truth: Justified edition #nlpoli

Someone in Gander Bay has been catching and selling quantities of smelt. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans received complaints,  conducted in investigation, and laid charges against an adult who they caught in the act of selling fish to a fellow who turned out to be an undercover fisheries officer.  The basis of the charge ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Ratings trump truth #nlpoli

Sometimes the universe delivers you the magical set of circumstances you just can’t ignore. Danny Williams turned up at the St. John’s Board of Trade luncheon on Thursday to deliver a speech the day before Donald Trump’s inauguration as president.  As much as people might like to forget,  this was a great reminder of just ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The real news in one sentence #nlpoli

According to its supporters, we need to have a special office for search and rescue in St. John’s because Newfoundlanders spoke English so poorly that no one could understand us. Lives would be in jeopardy because Merv Wiseman lost his job. Wiseman was one of the loudest critics of the federal government’s 2013 decision to ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Friends and enemies #nlpoli

Craig Westcott tells a story from his short stint as communications director for the Liberals in opposition in the last days of Danny Williams and the early days of his handpicked successor, Kathy Dunderdale. “I kept after the very small caucus we had to keep asking questions,”  Westcott said in an email to SRBP, “hoping ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Narrative War #nlpoli

The day after a massive Liberal victory in the general election,  CBC’s David Cochrane posted an analysis piece on the new administration.  CBC distributed it nationally. Cochrane describe Dwight Ball as a man “unlikely” to be Premier: Four campaigns. Two losses. Two wins.  By a combined 75 votes. Cochrane’s account leaves out relevant context.  When ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Kicking ass in political coverage #nlpoli

The province’s major media outlets have taken different approaches to political coverage in this election from what they did last time. The result has been one of the most interesting campaigns in recent memory. First with the political news… In the second week of the campaign, VOCM has been kicking ass with a series of ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Invention #nlpoli

The provincial election campaign is barely a week old and already we have seen certain themes and interpretations emerging that are the product not of fact and observation but of invention. The most striking one is the imagined explanation for the massive Liberal lead revealed through two polls released at the start of the campaign.  ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: WTF?

There are times you read stuff and you just have to wonder what brought that on. There’s Telegram editor Russell Wangersky explaining how newspapers are still relevant in the world today.  he starts bitching the old bitch about how radio stations in town used to read Telegram stories on the air word-for-word without crediting the ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Manipulation Manipulation #nlpoli #cdnpoli

/What a difference 36 years makes. There’s  New Democrat strategist Robin Sears in a National Post piece complaining about the way the Liberal are running their guy named Trudeau in lots of situations that give him good visuals. “He isn’t running to be a boxer or a canoeist, he’s running to be Prime Minister, which ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The name they fear #nlpoli

Cast your mind back to April 2007 In his ongoing penchant for fighting with everyone and for small-mindedness,  Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams decides he will only refer to the new Prime Minister as “Steve”. Williams made no bones about the fact his decision was very personal and intended to be insulting. (Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Fourth Party #nlpoli

A Telegram editorial on Wednesday contained a curious comment.   The subject was news that broke this week about the provincial government;s energy corporation.  Two senior corporate officials are refusing to testify in a court case in Quebec over contending interpretations of the 1969 power contract between Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corporation and Hydro-Quebec. Nalcor is refusing ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Lighter and Lighter #nlpoli

Three separate stories over the past three days highlight changes to the local media world. On Saturday, Telegram editor Russell Wangersky slammed the publicly funded CBC Radio for turning its morning show into the sort of light, fluffy morning program heard on commercial radio. (Is "We’re broadcasting from Tim Horton’s" really that much different than ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Opportunity knocks #nlpoli

CBC’s David Cochrane took a break from his parental leave Thursday evening to let the world know that On Point is dead as of next June. Predictably, a bunch of people expressed their great regret but this is far from the end of the world.  Cochrane hinted elements of the show will survive. Frankly, the ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Things that raise alarm bells #nlpoli

As it becomes more clear that the two recent murders of Canadian soldiers had less to do with terrorism and more to do with people who are otherwise screwed up, the RCMP commissioner issues a media statement claiming the police have a video that links one murder to “ideological and political motives.” But they can’t ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Getting On Point back from No Point #nlpoli

For years, the only public affairs show on television or radio in Newfoundland and Labrador was Issues and Answers.  NTV’s Sunday morning staple has long been ponderous and boring and it remains so.  CBC’s On Point promised to add some life to the political world.  But while it was interesting early on and it’s had ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Much media ado about not very much #nlpoli

On the face of it, anyone even passingly familiar with political events in Newfoundland and Labrador for the past decade would look with some justifiable scepticism on an announcement from justice minister Darin King on Monday that the provincial government was going to have another look at building a new provincial prison to replace one ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Veracity #nlpoli

Not so long ago one of the frequent claims people in the conventional media used to make about “blogsters” was that you couldn’t trust what they wrote because it might not be true. You don’t hear that sort of thing as much as you used to.  But  whenever the idea comes up, you have to ...