Is this the new Canadian political reality?

This is from the introduction of my 2015 book Kill the Messengers: Stephen Harper’s Assault on Your Right to Know, published by HarperCollins. I’m posting it for Press Freedom weekend. How much of it fits today’s political climate?   The Harper government has set out to kill many messengers. The media is obviously one of … Read moreIs this the new Canadian political reality?

The Globe and Mail’s David Walmsley on Press Freedom

I’m proud of the work I did as a journalist. I spent almost 40 years in that trade and had articles published in pretty much every major newspaper in the country, along with some magazines. Some of my books were journalism. I wrote the definitive book on domestic press censorship in Canada in the Second … Read moreThe Globe and Mail’s David Walmsley on Press Freedom

The making of modern journalism – when a friendly stranger comes to call

This is a case study of a media hatchet job. It’s from England’s conservative Spectator, and that bias is apparent. Still, it’s a warning of what can happen when you let a journalist into your home and decide to have a friendly chat. A phrase gets picked up here, another there, and very soon the … Read moreThe making of modern journalism – when a friendly stranger comes to call

Choking off the terrorism propaganda pipeline should be the world’s duty

When suicide bombers attacked several Christian churches and some of the country’s best hotels on Easter Sunday, the Sri Lankan government swiftly reacted by shutting down social media. The Sri Lankan regime was concerned about video propaganda from the attacks. It also wanted to close off the messaging functions of Facebook and Twitter, and it … Read moreChoking off the terrorism propaganda pipeline should be the world’s duty

Nick Cohen and James Goodale on Julian Assange

Cohen was in the middle of the original Wikileaks storm, so his piece is definitely worth a read. I’ll be writing more on the Assange case this week. A different take, from James Goodale a lawyer who worked on the New York Times’ fight to print the Pentagon Papers. Cohen believes Assange is reckless. Goodale … Read moreNick Cohen and James Goodale on Julian Assange

Canadaland is a great place to flee: Can Jaren Kerr survive the curse of Canadaland and Jesse Brown? 

This is the third in a series about Canadaland I got my first newspaper job when I was 20, working as a summer student at the Hamilton Spectator. Later, I was a student reporter at the Globe and Mail and the London Free Press. It was tough to break into journalism back then. I went … Read moreCanadaland is a great place to flee: Can Jaren Kerr survive the curse of Canadaland and Jesse Brown? 

Has Facebook ruined the world? (book review)

Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe (Penguin, $37 hard cover) is an intriguing book about a good idea that turned out to be bad, something that was useful when it was small but is now a menace because of its size and power. Facebook started as a way for people to meet and keep … Read moreHas Facebook ruined the world? (book review)

Who Gets to Cover Parliament and the Legislatures? A Legal Analysis

The press gallery function is more than a commercial news reporting service. It is an integral part of our work; a service which Parliament must safeguard for the Canadian public who are entitled as of right to the fullest information of activities here. –House of Commons Speaker James Jerome, 1976 [1]   Introduction The Parliamentary … Read moreWho Gets to Cover Parliament and the Legislatures? A Legal Analysis

Be Careful… Your Dog May be on Bob Fife’s Speed Dial, Ready to Spill About You

Actually, that’s likely not true. The Ottawa bureau chief of the Globe and Mail and your dog may not have an anonymous source relationship. But these days, you never know. Anonymous sources are all the rage now. And Fife is very good at what he does. As for your dog, you’ve seen what she’ll do … Read moreBe Careful… Your Dog May be on Bob Fife’s Speed Dial, Ready to Spill About You

Dissecting the Shame Wizard Part II: I will give $10,000 to anyone who can prove that Canadaland isn’t simply false news

Yes, it’s a very snappy headline. Lawyers should have flashbacks to law school and the Carbolic Smoke Ball case. Journalists and other people who read this might wonder why I would risk my money. Because there is no risk. I’ve been following the back and forth between Canadaland and the WE organization since last fall … Read moreDissecting the Shame Wizard Part II: I will give $10,000 to anyone who can prove that Canadaland isn’t simply false news