When those responsible for bringing Canadians the news are called out for being fake, or not bothering to check if what they are telling their audience is accurate, they claim that, by attacking their credibility their accusers are undermining one of the fundamental tools of democracy. Their complaint goes on to suggest that without a free press there would be no mechanism to hold those in power to account, no entity willing or able to speak up and bring to the attention of Canadians and the world when those in power violate the civil, moral and human rights of their people or workers, etc. Those who report the news would have Canadians believe that the job that they do is so fundamental to democracy that any challenge to their reporting of it, is an attack on democracy and democratic principles, and values, that could undermine all that democracy and democratic governance, stands for.
There was a time not too long ago that I would have agreed with them. I would have agreed that the Canadian press is fundamental to Canadian democracy. I would have agreed that they were one of the only ways for the average Canadian to get a non-biased, factual accounting of domestic and international, trivial and life altering events taking place. Unfortunately, I see no evidence to make me believe that the assertion by those in the press, is still based in truth.
Once reputable news agencies /owners have succumbed to the threats of their advertisers. They have allowed themselves to be bullied into becoming little more than propaganda spouting tools for politicians, and in turn become the political and social voice of their biggest advertisers.
Ethical reporters of the past would have resisted the pressure to compromise the integrity of a story. Todays reporters however for the most part are merely puppets reading from a teleprompter, spouting words written by someone else.
Truth, facts and journalistic integrity have been replaced, by:
- the too often used and relied upon, anonymous source;
- news programs with hosts and guest panels of political pundits.
News reporters have caved into the demands of those who pay their salaries. They now shamelessly, distort and slant the news…turning the coverage of every news worthy story, into little more than political theater. Reporters now read their script and tell the version of the story that will please their bosses, because it pleases their boss’s advertisers. Reporters know that they are misleading their audiences by passing off unsubstantiated information as verified and factually true, but the hallmarks of journalistic integrity, mean little or nothing in 21st century news coverage. This leaves the average Canadian no place to hear just the facts of a story regardless and despite personal feelings, financial considerations, and political whoring.
Canadian news agencies can no longer be considered the back bone of Canadian democracy, because at every level this once credible organisation, defender and guardian of the democratic process and principles, has sold out, for profit. Reporters are no longer reporting just the proved facts, they have joined in with those who seek to gain political, financial and moral power by manipulating facts and distorting reality…using a steady bombardment of half-truths and innuendo, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
They (The owners of news agencies,) seek to justify their betrayal of Canadians by saying they had to do something to halt or slow down the loss of their market share, or get run out of business by non-professional, unethical online reporters, who were not bound by the rules of journalistic integrity. Rather than lose to online reporters, they chose to become like them and adopt their rules and behavior.
News Agencies decided that they needed to:
- make the news entertaining, rather than just a factual, unbiased sharing of information. CBC did a promotional ad with Ian Hanomansing, saying just that;
- slant the news toward one side or the other if they could find a way to blame the opinions and unproved allegations on a third-party.
In today’s world programs such as, Power& Politics and Power Play are aired daily, and passed off as real news. These programs consist of a host asking questions and requesting opinions of a panel of political pundits, about the daily news. At the end of these programs the station uses a disclaimer, stating “The views expressed on the show, were that of the panelist, and do not necessarily represent, or reflect the views of the station.”
News agencies/owners are now controlling the false narrative. They are intentionally misinforming their audience, while trying to counter and shield themselves against any accusations of intentionally violating the rules of journalistic integrity, with a fall guy. Advertisers who already control most politicians with financial support are now firmly in control of the daily news and for them it is never what is for the good of the people…it is always what is good for their bank accounts.
News how it is being delivered today is no longer important to holding those in power to account in a properly functioning democracy, because the delivers of the news are now complicit and duplicate in its corruption. Once they decided to take sides on issues and support political parties they turned off their ability to tell the whole truth no matter who it offended or hurt. They became a weapon rather than the guardians of the fundamental democratic principles which are the back bone to any governing democracy. Unfortunately for Canadians rather than telling all the news, news agencies are intentionally controlling what and if you hear the whole, unaltered truth about any news story.
Those in the news business are no longer reporting what can be proved, instead, they are trying to determine who in the story is right or wrong: guilty or not guilty, should be elected or shouldn’t be. They have decided to become the judge, jury. and political king-maker or breaker.
High jacking Canadian politics was the next logical step and they did so, masterfully. Canadian news agencies have now become Canada’s non-elected Loyal Opposition Party and governing party at the same time. They have become known politically and ideologically as left or right-wing. They are in the business of getting their political choices elected and promoting their sides agenda no matter the cost to truth, or the damage they do to Canadians and the principles of democracy…both things they once stood up for and protected.
Bombarding audiences with opinions, half-truths, unproven allegations, and innuendo, leaves Canadians no better informed then the people of North Korea when it comes to state-run propaganda type news coverage.
If those responsible for bringing Canadians the daily news ever want to be considered as defenders of the people and guardians of Canadian democracy and democratic principles, they must:
- do so and stop selling out to their advertisers;
- go back to uncovering and exposing those who would stand in the way of things like freedom of religion, equality for all people under the law;
- remove opinion and non-substantiated information from news casts and programming;
- return to a neutral position when bringing the story to its audience.
Democracy was never introduced to bring equality to all under the law, or issues like, who had the right to vote, or an education, as well as what language could be spoken in a province would not keep occurring and being fought for by Canada’s people, throughout Canada’s history.
It was and will always be the principles of a democracy that ensure that those being governed are treated equally under the law and are entitled to the basic freedoms and rights recognised as fundamental to the well-being of all in a democratic society.
Getting rich was not the goal of those who first brought the news to the common man, but exposing injustice and informing a community of current events was.
The industry needs to find its way back to its reason for being, or forever be referred to as, “Fake News”… little more than propaganda spouting tools for politicians, and the political and social voice of their biggest advertisers.