Thursday, November 16, 2006

journalism and spin

image from here

I heard a conversation with Wendy Mesley (a Gemini Award winning investigative journalist) of the CBC last night in which she was asked a question about journalists, and why there was so little depth to the reportage. Ms. Mesley stated -
"It's really hard now to be a good journalist...there's so much pressure with 24/7 pump it out. The resources are down, so companies - newspapers, or networks - don't want to spend a lot of money digging up complicated stuff. It's really hard to tell a story that people do not want to be told...(they want) easy stuff."

When asked about her own investigative journalism, and how she gets away with it, Ms. Mesley stated further that there are
"hints from the sales department that they are not too thrilled, and it's understandable. What other network (besides the CBC) would want to do a series that takes on it's biggest sponsors?. That's condidered nuts at any other network"

It becomes clear why there is so much blah, blah in the Sun, Province, Glib and Meaningless, etc. - the sponsors. All of those RE advertisements are what keep the rags ragging. This is fairly transparent, and has been discussed elsewhere, but it begs the question - why bother even reading the stuff? It's essentially meaningless. That is why so many people have turned to VHB, Calgary Contrarian, Bubblemeter, etc. Although there is still a bias, it is a transparent bias, and it is not driven by pleasing non-existent sponsors.

I can commiserate somewhat - It must be hard for Derrick Penner and the like. I don't feel that it excuses folks like Cameron Muir though. No advertising there, and CMHC has a duty of care to tax-paying Canadians. Why does he pump the hype?


Van Housing Blogger said...

Why? Maybe because he's looking to get a new job.

solipsist said...

I just came from your place VHB, and saw that. Is it a reward?

A better place for him, I think. He has lots of training.

WoodenHorse said...

Holy Smoking F#$K!

Freako said...

A comparable situation would be Alan Greenspan going to work for Tom Vu after leaving the Fed. Well almost as bad.

solipsist said...

What would be really bad is if Greenspan also adopted Vu's schtick. Actually, that might be kind of amusing - like listening to nails on a blackboard.

Freako said...

I think I have mentioned that Al was quite the ladies man in his yoot. I doubt Tom still has his boat, but Al would fit right in.