Friday, January 27, 2012

The Smart Affair....The Real Culprit


Harvey Oberfeld gets right to the heart of the matter:

....(I)ncredibly, the real culprit in this situation …CBC regional management … decided to let (Mr. Stephen) Smart continue to cover the legislature (despite the fact that his wife is the Premier's Deputy Press Secretary).

“We feel the ombudsman’s ruling found no issues wuth Stephen’s reporting,” said Johnny Michel, managing director for CBC’s Pacific Region. “Without a shred of evidence that Stephen is offside in his reporting, we feel this is now just a personal matter and a corporate matter.”


There’s a lot more to journalism than just what actually appears in stories: what about things any reporter may know but decides NOT to report for various reasons? What about possible public perceptions …. justified or not … of easier questioning of the premier or government ministers or tougher questioning of opponents? What about the reporter himself becoming more the center of attention than the story being presented, as viewers, knowing of the conflict ruling, now will always look for bias?

Problems like these do not relate solely to Stephen Smart: any reporter can face tougher scrutiny once even a POTENTIAL for bias surfaces. And in covering politics, the sensitivity becomes even greater …to the point of viewer distraction....


The real question is....


Why, exactly is CBC Pacific ignoring their own Ombudsman's ruling and doing this?

Is it possible that the good Mr. Kirk Lapointe, the current Ombudsman, has actually become the 'new' MotherCorp's ethical beard?


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