Yesterday was World Press Freedom Day, so it was only appropriate that I delayed these awards until at least today. Our CanWest dominated media here in BC is nothing so much as an abuse of the freedom of the press earned at such cost by so many over so much time.
CanWest continues its domination in the Vacuum category, which is to recognize the most egregious (and usually successful) attempt to stifle, hide or ignore news that actually is relevant to the lives of British Columbians, especially in relation to the BC Rail Trial and the questionable sale of our once publicly owned railroad. This years winner is Kirk "Pointy" LaPointe, managing editor of what was once the flagship daily of British Columbia, the Vancouver Sun. Just like Lucinda Chodan last year, Pointy won this year for what he wouldn't publish, AND his lame rationalizations, explanations or excuses for the failure to even acknowledge a pre-trial hearing had taken place, in his newspaper (sic).
In August of 2007, my colleague BC Mary had very politely e-mailed Mr. LaPointe inquiring about if and when she might expect to see some coverage of a hearing that had supposedly taken place, but was completely unmentioned in the various local media. Kirk's reply was:
The truth is, nothing much has happened in the process, so we haven't been consuming resources during this heavy holiday season on non-news.
But we are at work on a piece that will move in the next two or three days, so bear with us.
Mary then shared the GOOD NEWS that there would be something upcoming and the wrath of the Pointy one began spewing forth. Of course the very fact that he would refer to ANYTHING to do with the BIGGEST TRIAL in BC HISTORY as non-news, should have set everyone's spidey sense a-tingle. Mr. LaPointe became very insulting to Mary, accusing her of violating his "privacy" by sharing his news about the upcoming coverage. Then I sent a pointed letter to Mr. LaPointe who replied that I was totally clueless and didn't even deserve the disrespectful answer I got, because (shudder, shudder) I use a psuedonym. Didja ever hear of George Sand or Mark Twain Mr. Journalism at its Worst?
Personally I would be satisfied if they could give the BC Rail Trial the same level of coverage they did for a certain deck at the rear of a certain Premier's home in East Vancouver a few years ago. I would have to undergo neurosurgery to remove those images from my brain after GlowBall and the dead tree arm of Canned Waste imprinted them through constant repetition week after week after week. The coverage only slacked off when Mr. Clark was acquitted of the bogus criminal charges, somewhat suspicious in itself. Of course BC's loss was the Jimmy Pattison Empire's gain, as he wasn't fooled by the political assassination of one the the better Premiers in the history of our province.
Just to help everyone maintain some perspective here, this fool who considers the BC Rail Trial "NON-NEWS" is the managing editor of the very same newspaper that deemed it necessary to have a DAILY FEATURE on the Robert Pickton trial EVEN WHEN IT WAS IN RECESS for about one full year. This is also the great journalist who can produce almost 3000 words on the really important stuff, like the time he got to be a judge at the Fireworks Competition in English Bay, in spite of the fact (in his own words) that-
I know nothing about fireworks ....snip/
I know nothing about gunpowder, or choreographed explosion, or the technical intricacies of the pyrotechnical display I will see in the nights ahead. But I have the privilege of sitting along the shore with a few others as a judge for the HSBC Celebration of Light while hundreds of thousands of others cheer and ooh and aah. Supposedly it’s better to have the significantly undereducated as judges; if that’s the case, they’ve found the right guy.
As I said, I didn't say that.
Those fortunate students in the UBC Journalism School got to hear Mr. LaPointe expound on Journalism in the Real World and how it should be carried out recently. On the day in question Pointy was all worked up about what he referred to as "datebook/calendar journalism."
The media’s reliance on staged events --also known as "datebook journalism" --strips reporters of their ideas and leaves them to cover scheduled events on their calendars, LaPointe said.
Instead of finding their own stories, journalists are covering stories created by other groups. Lapointe said this reduces reporters to tape recorders. He added that some staged events, such as budgets and reports from the auditor general, are important and must be covered. But many product releases and press conferences aren't newsworthy. And stories on “days” and “weeks,” such as National Payroll Week, are examples of datebook journalism, he said.
Well all I can say about this is that perhaps he should give the same speech to his Corporate colleagues over at GlowBall TeeVee Snooze. Am I the only one that noticed the dawn to midnight coverage of some little girl that went missing over in Portugal exactly ONE YEAR AGO YESTERDAY. If indeed they are not somehow complicit, I feel for the parents, but I can't ignore the fact that if one is looking for an example of datebook journalism, it would be difficult to find a better example. It also seems to me that reporters, or the ones we are stuck with anyway, pretty much are "tape recorders" for the drivel put out by the 185+ OIC PR Flacks employed by the Campbell excuse for government.
I'm already working on the presentation of the truly big prize, the Gyro for 2007. It could even be awarded later today, or tomorrow or..........?