Wed, 11/26/2014 - 22:44

Heather McCall's picture
Posted by Heather McCall on April 22, 2007

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Here are Lawson's concluding paragraphs:
The problem is that news editors in television and radio can now sample drama from anywhere in the world, and so stories that might once have made headlines only in the West Virginia Mountain News - or been reported round the clock on Radio Jerusalem - now receive global 24-hour coverage. But the question that editors and audiences need to ask constantly is whether we are watching because we care or because we can. This week's events have strongly suggested that we need to cut back on our hospital visiting hours.
I would argue in the case of the West Virginia miners, that's a human story that anyone can relate to. I suspect people cared very much about the cruel joke fate played on the dead miners' families. For the purposes of television, it's a good visual story. An interesting point of comparison to that disaster story, however, are the ones that happen in China on an almost weekly basis. About 8,000 Chinese miners die per year, vs. about 30 U.S. ones, according to a BBC story. Anybody ever seen a Chinese mine disaster rescue on TV, let alone live coverage? I doubt the Chinese government would allow it. In the case of Sharon, when I was watching CNN on Wednesday, Wolf Blitzer was switching between several different major stories. If I interpret Lawson correctly, he's saying audiences should only watch if they have a true emotional investment in the story. They'll make that decision after they've seen it. His opinion doesn't provide anything that will help me make better news decisions.
I'm looking for the personal papers of Ross Munro, especially from the war years. If anyone knows where they are, please e-mail me at BTW, this looks like a very useful and valuable site.

What's the fallout been to your (paper/show/network)'s coverage of the multi-media suicide note left by the Virginia Tech shooter?
There has been  vigorous internal discussions here at the Spectator on our decisions to publish several of the photographs (and portions of the video transcript). We ran six photos on our front page yesterday: gripping the hammer; talking into the camera; smiling; two guns in outstretched hands;
pointing gun at camera; and holding gun to his head. Opinion was as divided and as vigorous as I suspect it was in most newsrooms, especially when one reporter checked over 100 front pages via the
Newseum site and found that we were one of only two to use the "suicide" photo on our front.
I see from a Globe story that the CBC decided to air none of the material - anyone else go that route?
We also asked readers for their thoughts and have published a selection on the web - with a picture  of the front page, if you're interested at: (or go to and click on the link in the NewsNow box).
Readers, by the way, are highly critical of our decision, by a 4 or 5 to 1 margin, it looks like.
Thoughts and experiences, anyone?

Bill Dunphy
(Who tried - and failed - to convince his paper to not publish any more Karla Homolka stories larger than a brief at the time of her release from prison)

I'm interested to hear what people think about the new Globe and Mail. Any thoughts?
Harper Government controls the media. The Canadian Media has been used by Harper and makes it harder for Canadians to get honest democratic reporting. Why is there not more reporters that will make an honest effort and get the news that Canadians deserve. Harper used the media on his last trip to Afghanistan to be given photo opportunities for Canadians back home. From the line of questions, I do not understand why the reporters went, Canadians did not get the truth about the visit, as reporters are controlled by Harper. Reporters, stand up for the rights of all Canadians, WHY HAVE YOU GONE INTO THIS BUSINESS. Make a stand. it's THE RIGHT THING TO DO. For those reporters that make honest efforts against odds but forward by the Harper Government, MY RESPECT AND THANK YOU. MUCH RESPECT. and to Canadians. SPEAK UP OR PUT YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND WHY HARPER KICKS YOUR BUTT.
Cracking the iron curtain called Canadian News... As a US publisher I have been poking around trying to license canadian news content for a new network of city news sites we're launching in Canada and have heard nothing but NO, everywhere I go. CP won't license it to us, CBC says they get the bulk of their text news from others and can't resell it. So where do I go? I am really frustrated and more surprised than anything over this. How could those who portray themselves as being in the business of licensing content to others reject me just because I'm in the same business and not some stand-alone mary' site? Is that fair? Is it legal? I just can't afford to staff up a newsroom there - we just don't have that kind of money, so we have to get it from somewhere else. I would appreciate any suggestions or leads and if any journalists out there are interested.. I'd be glad to work out something if at all possible. You can email at editor502[at]
Can Anyone suggest decent videos/DVDs to use in a beginning news writing class. Thanks, Ken Tabacsko Alma College
I would be happy to try to help you. I don't know of any videos or DVDs, but there are a number of interactive lessons for young journalists and journalism students that you may find useful at the following two websites: and As well, there are a variety of resources posted on our website at: I hope some of those things may be helpful to you. Mary McGuire.
I read Gary Mason's recent column in the Op-Ed section of the Globe with dismay. How does Canada's newspaper of record justify giving prominent space to a story about a maybe-soon-to-be commercial product, without the slightest balance or critical inquiry? The only person Mason quotes is the president and CEO of D-Waves, and he dismisses some very viable scientific skepticism by saying it's too complicated to explain. The skepticism, by the way, comes from reputable scientists at MIT and UC Santa Barbara. But whatever the merits of the science behind this new computer, readers deserve more than fluff and hyperbole about a new gadget that may or may not work, and that may or may not be a boost to Canadian research.
Does anyone know if there is still a person at the CAJ office in Ottawa picking up incoming emails? Do we have an upadate on what's going on - since CAJ put together the summary of reader responses? Can someone reading this find out and report back?
Hi Diane, Mary Agnes here from the CAJ. We do still have a national staffer in Ottawa, but he is on part-time hours. Not ideal, but also not a permanent thing, we're hoping. As for the summary of reader responses, are you referring to the comments on the piece on J-Source recently about the state of the CAJ? If you are, I can tell you we poured over all the comments to glean ideas about how to move forward. We also got some ideas (along with some very welcome words of support) sent directly to me and our national office. Is that what you wanted to know? If not, drop me a line at and I can fill you in on anything else. MA
Amy Goodman, the host of Democracy Now ( is in Toronto speaking at Massey Hall on June 25th and Trinity St. Paul's United Church on June 26th. She's not Canadian, and she's not traditional media but she is very well respected and maybe she's a potential new media model to emulate. It would be worthwhile for someone to write an article about her.
Yesterday, on CBC's Connect with Mark Kelley, reporter Jennifer Hollett did a piece on Craigslist and the controversy in the US over its censoring of the "erotic" listings. Hollett interviewed a Toronto woman who said that the erotic ads on Craigslist in Canada and the US are a front for human traffickers of women and children for the purposes of sex. The interview was a strong one, based largely on the woman's own experience. However, that's where the story ended. Hollett did NOT try to validate the woman's hypothesis by, for example, contacting any of the people posting the erotic ads and trying to determine if, in fact, they are being exploited, or if they are adults and free agents. That would be a natural journalistic follow-up to a story like this. But it didn't happen. Instead, Hollett introduced a clip from a CNN reporter asking the man who runs Craigslist: "What are you doing to protect these girls?" There was a 3-second pause, and then the clip ended. Craig (last name not provided) eventually responded to the CNN reporter, but Hollett didn't tell us what he said. His pause, we are left to believe, was enough to damn him. It was the classic how-long-have-you-been-beating-your-wife interrogation, carrying a presumption of guilt, along with a wink and a smirk. Who says the "girls" need "protection?" Sounds like a story that needs more work.

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