The City of Toronto is offering media training to residents of the Danzig Street shooting, which has caused some mix reactions between residents and city councillors.
In the days following the Danzig Street shooting, that left two dead and almost two dozen injured, emotions ran high, residents were left grieving and the media presence was huge.
As a result, the city of Toronto has decided to offer media training to residents in the form of a free workshop called “Close Encounters of the Media Kind,” reported CTV News last night. It will teach residents how to talk to reporters while protecting their message.
The workshop is being promoted by a leaflet distributed in the east-Toronto neighbourhood and will be hosted this afternoon by Cher Jones, the city’s senior co-ordinator of strategic communications.
The leaflet asks the following:
“You have something to say and the media is prepared to listen. But how can you protect your message?”
Although a city official said that the idea was sparked when residents of the area complained about how their neighbourhood was being portrayed in the media, not all residents are happy with the idea, reports CTV.
Some residents say that the media training is “odd” and that they’d like to see the money that’s being spent on the session used elsewhere in the neighbourhood — like more surveillance cameras, for example.
City councillors also had mixed reactions about the media training; some thought it was unnecessary, while others, like Adam Vaughan (who is a former journalist), thought it was a good idea.[node:ad]
"I think this is a really responsible way to respond to the media spotlight that this neighbourhood has been thrust into and letting them understand how to protect their best interests as journalists go about their work,” he told CP24.
Norm Kelly, another Toronto city councillor disagreed when he spoke with CTV’s Natalie Johnson.
“I think its very important that when you talk with the media especially if you’re a tenant than you should talk in an unfiltered way,” he told Johnson.
The Toronto Sun reported that Jackie DeSouza, a spokesperson for the city said that the seminar is not open to the media.
What are your thoughts? Do you think media training would be useful for the residents of the Danzig Street shooting or is it unnecessary? Let us know in the comments section below.
Angelina King is a freelance journalist who works as a reporter for CTV News Channel in Toronto. She previously reported for CTV in her hometown of Saskatoon and is a graduate of Ryerson University's journalism program. Angelina has a special interest in court and justice reporting, but is always grateful to share a human interest story. You can reach her at: @angelinakCTV.