Disturbing signs

(Canscene ) — Police forces and politicians shooting off their mouths immediately after the arrest of 17 men and youths on charges of planning acts of terrorism touched off a volley of media coverage. Not all of it was routine reporting: some media acted with all the grace of sleazy supermarket tabloids, blaming the “homegrown” terrorism on everything from Canada’s immigration policy to the Multiculturalism Act.

Now a media ban has been placed on reporting further court proceedings against the 17. Some media are legally challenging the right of the courts to uphold such a ban.

In countries to which freedom of the media has been considered a sacred right, there are now some disturbing signs. Not the least of these is the hate campaign being waged in the United States against The New York Times even going so far as to accuse that venerable paper’s publisher of treason.

Balancing the reckless disregard for decorum, accuracy and fairness shown by some media with the vital informational resource the majority of them provide for the public should convince us there’s no contest between suppression and freedom.

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2 Responses to “Disturbing signs”

  1. Gina valle Says:

    With a growing emphasis on ethical issues in journalism (much like business schools as well), it is my hope that the gap can be narrowed in media between suppression and freedom.

  2. ben Viccari Says:

    Thanks for our comment Gina. The initiative toward more media respon sibility must come from media themselves. From any governmental source we arrive at censorship with all its dangerous implications.

    Checks and balances available to the public are media ombudsmen, letters to the editor, complaints to provicial media councils and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council and media associations such as the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Canadian Ethic Media association. The public must, in the interest of freedom learn to exercise the prerogatives offered by such bodies.

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