The demise of journalism in this city

We’ve all laughed at the Sun for years now. It’s tabloid format, the sunshine girls, the overt right wing slant. Thank god we still have the Winnipeg Free Press,. and its journalistic integrity.

Except we don’t.

For years they had the hyper partisan columnists writing op-ed pieces, columnists like Frances Russell and Gordon Sinclair Jr. But now we no longer know the boundary between reporter/columnist/blogger. Dan Lett and Bartley Kives are apparently reporters and yet the post blogs and columns that show under the opinion header. What they have accomplished by this is made it clear that you can be one or the other, but never both. If you post ( especially on political issues) as a blogger or a columnist and those posts reflect your opinions and political leanings, it is impossible for you to be objective when you report the news or more accurately CHOSE what to report or DECIDE what spin to put on the news. Case in point is this recent ‘opinion’ ┬áblog by Dan Lett in which he intends to lay any responsibility for the cost overruns at the CMHR not at the feet of Gail Asper, the bord of the CMHR, the friends of the CMHR, but at the prime minister:

Nice try Dan, but most can see through this. If you want to throw mud at politicians involved in this, how about the city forgiving the tax arrears and penalties of the CMHR? Or how about the province, who decided that instead of funding the CMHR from the taxes of Manitobans would direct MPI, Hydro and MLCC to fund it?

And speaking of throwing mud at politicians, I remember at least 3 columns from you and Bartley chiding the Mayor for not appearing at the Remembrance Day ceremony this year. Strange, I have yet to hear a peep from you regarding the fact the our premier left our ‘acting’ finance minister to answer questions regarding the health care funding announcement from Ottawa, and to answer questions regarding additional flood expenses that will raise the deficit to almost $1 Billion. Is it because Sam Katz is a ‘Conservative’ and not NDP. If you are going to (laughably) call yourself reporters, at least try to act like one.

I was under the impression that part of the mandate of the media was to hold the government to account. The Freep loves this role when it’s a conservative government that is being held to account, but to nobody’s surprise they are dead silent when it comes to questioning the lies the provincial NDP feed out on items like BiPole, and their election attack ads.Perhaps Bob Silver should change the Free Press color from blue to orange. At least there would be no confusion that way.

But it’s not just newspapers, look at the TV reporting as well. Ideally, you should see the identical top 5 stories on CBC, CTV and Global. But how often does that really happen? CBC no longer describes the appearance of individuals involved in crime reports since they were using the term aboriginal too much. And they skip important information in favour of fluff pieces or pieces that are little more than a 30sec infomercial for the person featured in the story.

One would hope that in this age of faster and more immediate information, it would be easy to find fact unbiased information. Just the facts. But it seems like the opposite, it still takes the same amount of time to get correct information as it did 20 yrs ago, but now we have to weed through multiple sources in order to develop a picture that may be semi accurate. We have to dig into sources that some consider overly partisan or fringe just to find FACTS that aren’t being reported in the mainstream media.

I’d love to have a single information source that I can go to for unbiased FACTS in this city. However it looks like that won’t show up anytime soon.