George Brown would be walking a picket line. The founder of Canada’s venerable newspaper back in 1844, Brown was one of the Fathers of Confederation and a keen supporter of the Clear Grits, which went on to become the Liberal Party of Canada.
Those were the days when the highest principles of integrity in reporting and journalism were PARAMOUNT: front and centre at the Globe.
Not any more, judging by the latest management proposals put on the table by the paper, now owned largely by Woodbridge (the Thomson family’s media corp) and BCE Media management group.
The Globe wants to pimp out its reporters to paying advertisers to write “advertorials”.
It would be journalistic prostitution of the worst kind … not only forcing reporters to write things they do not necessarily believe, but also leaving out “the other side” of any product or company or service.
The end result would be the TOTAL LOSS OF CREDIBILITY AS JOURNALISTS for those who write such crud: we would all know they are not real reporters, but whores, who sell their skills to the right bidder, as assigned.
Maybe the paper would even develop its own catalogue of its writers, listing their personal statistics and specialities (car dealership deceptive promotions; chemical polluters’ positive portrayers; or, retailing puffery GUARANTEED to increase customer traffic and sales.
The Globe could also create a special Pimp Editor, to sit on the news desk beside the National Editor or Arts Editor or Political Editor. Although perhaps the Pimp Editor should have his or her own office … you know, decorated with lots of red velvet wallpaper, comfortable settees and oil lamps … and, of course a 55″ LED TV playing the latest DVD porn, to meld the paper’s once-proud history with its modern business profile.
Needless to say, reporters at the Globe have objected to this management proposal and its union, Unifor, has rejected the proposal.
But the damage is done: the fact that Globe management would even PROPOSE REQUIRING its staff news reporters and journalists to write advertorials on assignment (and not just use specifically hired or contracted advertising writer types to do it) tells me how low a view Globe’s top management now have of journalism and those who practice it.
And if the Globe staff go out on strike … the spirit of George Brown will be right there with them … on the picket line, standing up for real journalism.
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