Friday, February 9, 2007

Intro to first column (May 2002)

Why is the media always so "negative"? What do journalists think of public relations people – and vice versa? How did the 'NTV Evening Newshour' beat 'Here & Now' in the ratings? Do journalists compromise their principles when they "cross over" to the public relations side?

These are just a few of the questions I will be tackling in this space in the months ahead. The Media Spotlight column will offer news, commentary and insight into the local print and electronic media, with an emphasis on journalism.

My media experience dates back to 1975. I am a former reporter and managing editor of The Sunday Express, The Newfoundland Signal and The Newfoundland Herald. When The Sunday Express folded in 1991, I entered public relations and worked at Prime Communications, the Economic Recovery Commission and The Real Game, before co-founding Milestone Communications in 1996 (which merged with Corporate Communications Limited in 2001 to become CCL Milestone).

In selecting material for this column, I obviously have to avoid issues that directly involve clients of my firm, and I cannot reveal privileged or confidential information. I am a big fan of disclosure and will lay all my cards on the table whenever I have had a personal stake in an issue. This way, readers can decide for themselves if I am letting any biases creep in (and hopefully they will conclude that I am not). I will include interviews with reporters, editors and other stakeholders, while offering plenty of my own comment and analysis. Now let’s get on with it…

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