Sat, 11/22/2014 - 15:06

Posted by Belinda Alzner on November 25, 2011

Should journalists’ salaries be public? This is the question raised once again after today’s back-and-forth between The Ottawa Citizen’s Glen McGregor and Sun News’ Ezra Levant on Twitter.

This morning, McGregor tweeted a challenge to Levant:

Levant declined.

The discussion continued, with McGregor bringing up the point that even if the CBC discloses the salaries of their high-profile journalists – such as Peter Mansbridge or George Stroumboulopoulos – the numbers are irrelevant without private-sector comparison.

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McGregor furthers the challenge, saying he will reveal his stock portfolio if Levant does. The entire exchange sounds similar to Guardian columnist George Monbiot’s challenge to journalists in September, when he disclosed his sources of income, his investments and the amount in his savings account, and urged all journalists to follow suit.

In response to McGregor saying he was for "salary disclosure of all journos," Levant tweeted: "I'm not, because I don't believe in legal restrictions on journalists."

As OpenFile Ottawa suggests, the challenge is seemingly part of the bigger issue that has been playing out recently. 

As we have reported, Quebecor has been in the midst of a legal battle with CBC for some time now over a number of CBC documents that Quebecor had requested under the Access to Information Act.

Today, Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber tabled four questions on the order paper to Parliament surrounding items similar to the withheld documents — which include the salaries of some of the broadcasters’ biggest names, including the “holy grail” of CBC contracts: Peter Mansbridge. 

Check out the entire conversation between McGregor and Levant

J-Source and ProjetJ are publications of the Canadian Journalism Project, a venture among post-secondary journalism schools and programs across Canada, led by Ryerson University, Université Laval and Carleton University and supported by a group of donors.