What, if anything, does Raitt-tapegate say about the practice of journalism?

The
story about cabinet minister, Lisa Raitt, the private conversation she
had last January with her aide, Jasmine MacDonnell, the accidental tape
recording which then fell into the hands of a reporter for the Chronicle Herald, certainly seems to be “sexy” judging by the coverage.

Some are reporting…

What, if anything, does Raitt-tapegate say about the practice of journalism?

The story about cabinet minister, Lisa Raitt, the private conversation she had last January with her aide, Jasmine MacDonnell, the accidental tape recording which then fell into the hands of a reporter for the Chronicle Herald, certainly seems to be “sexy” judging by the coverage.

Some are reporting on the reporting, questioning journalistic practices and news judgment: some journalists are sympathetic to Raitt, dishing disdain for their colleagues’ reporting, arguing we all say things in private that we would never say in public.

On the other hand, columnists such as Naomi Lakrit of the Calgary Herald, argue this is a fine (not finest) hour for journalism, giving “lie to those who declare newspapers are obsolete in this day of blogging and citizen journalism. …. Bloggers will sit at home at their computers and opine to their heart’s content about these issues, but it was newspaper reporters who did the work and broke the stories.” 

The nine-page affidavit by the Chronicle Herald reporter, Stephen Maher, is a fascinating “tick-tock” of the decisions the source, the reporter, and his editors made in assessing the story.    

At J-Source we’re scratching our heads, asking, “What should we be asking?” Are there questions of news judgment here? Or ethics? Or emphasis? Or is it even possible that all the journalists involved have (gasp!) simply done their jobs? We’d like to hear from you. What do YOU think?

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