Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pedigrees and privacy

I’ll have to direct you to our media department.

I’m not authorized to comment.

I could lose my job if I talk to you.

Media is moving faster, yet it seems the process of getting people to talk is moving slower. When you finally reach someone who is allowed to comment, they don’t always bother to return calls. And so it begins: Moving down the guest list from the A players, to the secondary sources and so on, stopping before we become no better than tabloid celebrity

This week, I will pick up Rick Hillier’s tell-all book A Soldier First: Bullets, Bureaucrats And The Politics Of War. No sex, drugs and rock and roll, but a candid and at times contemptuous look at the petty workings of the Canadian government and how it drove the country’s top soldier in Afghanistan to turn to other countries for quick response to quash terrorism cells.

I’m lapping up every TV, radio and online report I can find. Much of the appeal is Hillier’s blunt perceptions about what has gone wrong in the Canadian military to the detriment of the soldiers that I believe he truly strives to protect and support.

I find unions and pensioners are tops when it comes to unfettered albeit biased opinions, but freedom of the press is under the gun as industries hide behind false privacy pretence and rank to abandon their responsibility to explain themselves.

How can we be watchdogs in our communities when everyone is afraid to talk? How low do journalists have to go on our guest lists to scrape together stories and feed the public’s appetite for immediate news?

The Hyper Journalist


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