Once again I find myself rolling along on a train from Montreal, drafting my latest post. It’s Tuesday evening and most of the media are finishing up coverage of the G8/G20. Reading what they have to say makes me appreciate why so many seek out alternative sources of news through social media.
Pack journalism is so evident in Canadian coverage. Prior to the G8/G20 all the majority of the press could talk about was the cost of security or the fake lake. To the extent that the media focused on the substance of the meetings, we generally heard about the diversity of public opinion and the likelyhood that there would be a failure of consensus amongst the leaders. Of course, this was all wrapped in a negative Harper narrative.
Well now, in a more muted fashion, the media reports that the summit wasn’t quite a bust after all. The outrageous behaviour of the Black Bloc illustrates why tight security was necessary. They report that the fake lake became a favourite hangout for foreign journalists who loved the ambiance. And substantively, they agree that a strong consensus was reached around the goal of halving deficits by 2013. Stephen Harper even managed to squeeze five billion dollars out of his colleagues for his maternal health signature aide project! The media thought that initiative was going nowhere, remember?
So once again an example of group reporting. Perhaps the Globe and Mail, “Canada’s national newspaper” put it best when it grudgingly said, Prime Minister Stephen Harper showed “some deftness” in positioning Canada as “an influential middle power”. It even went on to editorialize that the fake lake that the newspaper had so ridiculed be “preserved” as a “feature attraction of the Canadian National Exhibition”.
Oh Brother! I now understand why SUNTV NEWS will be looking for alternative sources of news and commentary. Let’s face it, news bureaus get their material pretty much from the same sources like Reuters and CP, and the columnist ‘insight’ is all too often regurgitated opinion from journalists who really do not understand how government really works.
SUNTV NEWS will be a welcome change to the media landscape. Let’s hope that Teneycke and his news team can make good on their premise of “challenging the conventional”. Their license cannot come soon enough.