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Field Notes

Horrors vs. taste: CBC producer describes the newsroom debate

Broadcasters and publishers know they can count on at least two responses to portraying graphic images of death and destruction: complaints about disgusting or invasive displays of blood and gore; and, journalists writing stories about media’s insensitivity or sensationalism.   

According to one broadcaster, the gatekeepers are constantly debating the responsibility of revealing the cruelty and anguish of the earthquake, trying to weigh the horrors versus the conventions of taste. The senior program producer for CBC TV’s The National, Michael Gruzuk, described that process in an interview with CBC Radio’s Rita Celli on Ontario Today, on Jan. 21.
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When national media descends on a small town story

Missing_StaffordWhen big, national media showed up in Woodstock, Ont. to cover the abduction of Victoria (Tori) Stafford, the story changed. There was a desire among local journos, writes Bruce Urquhart, from the Woodstock Sentinel-Review, not to be scooped by out-of-town reporters that, unfortunately, pushed them toward pack journalism.
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