Saturday, January 23, 2016

Journalism is... doomed

I see where Carleton and Ryerson and Postmedia remain major sponsors of the Journalism Is... PR campaign designed to entice gullible youth into a journalism programme.

Wonder how that's working out?

I don't imagine Postmedia will remain a corporate sponsor of this campaign for much longer. Postmedia Networks has sacked more journos in Canada than any other employer over the past few years, so the brazen hypocrisy of their sponsorship is eventually going to contaminate the entire campaign.

Journalism used to be an honourable profession, one that I contemplated committing to at one time. Had a few stories in the Ontarion back in my U of Goo days. It was all fun and games when you're getting high with the Downchild Blues Band, but write something critical about the Big Dogs at the OVC, and all of a sudden "journalism" got downright creepy.

Yup, the Rolex crowd didn't waste any time letting me know what I had to change in my stories.

Oddly enough, the hippy dippy rebels running the Ontarion at the time were more than a little ambivalent about exposing the bullying of those Big Dogs. Truth be told, I pretty much knuckled under too.

So it was with some mixture of nostalgia and bemusement that I read Marsha Lederman's impassioned paean to the profession in today's Globe. Marsha's getting the A2 space these days, so obviously the big dogs at the Globe are on board.

According to Marsha, professional journalism has forestalled many a catastrophe in these times. For instance, it was only the professional journalists at the Toronto Star who short-circuited the second term of mayoral nightmare Rob Ford.


What I recall of that fiasco is that the "professional journalists" were pretty much as cringe-worthy as Fat Ford himself. Ya, on one side you've got this dude with obvious substance abuse problems, and on the other side, the side of virtuous professional journalism, you've got folks buying up videos of Ford's drunken rants to better facilitate the mayor's public shaming.

JournalismIS... that?

I'd like to think not.

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