Monday, May 21, 2007

More interesting stuff on the way

I will be out of town on Monday and Tuesday of this week (May 21 and 22). I'm working on some interesting stuff and should be back on deck by Wednesday; possibly sooner, if I can find time to post while on the road. In the meantime, check out Bob Wakeham's column in the Sunday Telegram - he offers an opinion on Ryan Cleary's appearance at the Trust & Confidence Rally but goes one further, saying that David Cochrane shouldn't be speaking at business luncheons either. (I don't agree with that. If Cochrane can offer analysis on a political panel he can do the same at a luncheon, but Wakeham's column makes for interesting reading.) The weekend's Independent is also interesting. Ryan Cleary offers a half-hearted defence of his appearance at the rally, and Randy Simms writes about it too. There is also a letter slagging me, and that's fine (although the editor describes me as a "Telegram columnist", implying perhaps that I am biased toward that paper, as if I could be bought for any price. I will have more on this point later.)

5 comments:

Ed Hollett said...

Geoff:

Of course, you realise that Mike's assessment continues to hold true.

People he agrees with have only angelic motives. The rest of us are less virtuous.

By the same token, you are a Telegram columnist. Therefore, by definition you must be a sell-out.

Only those who work for a newspaper owned by someone from this province can speak without any bias or agenda, other than being always correct and always arguing for the good of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Anyone else must be a traitor.

It's all soooo obvious and sooooo simple, I feel like I should just slap my forehead.

Geoff Meeker said...

Ed: That reference to The Telegram was contained in the intro to Mike's letter, and was written by the Editor. But your other points are well taken and I will speak to them in a future post as well.

Simon said...

The issue that eludes Ryan Cleary etc is that it's *fine* to have a NL agenda. But the fact he misses is that there are *many* NL agendas.

For example, the Confederation battles wars were all about NL agendas. There were at least three different NL agendas in play: Confederation, Resp govt and Economic Union.

Cleary, in this case, has chosen the Premier's NL agenda, backs it to the hilt and disparages or ignores other perfectly legitamte NL agendas. It's not enough to be proud of the province - you must be proud in exactly the same way as Premier Williams and his way is the only legitimate form of pride.

Is Manning or Hearn or Reid or any of the others who decline to toe the Williams line anti-NL? Of course not.

The fact he can make that distinction is what makes him a partisan hack and not a journalist.

He has lost his objectivity.

Edward G. Hollett said...

Maybe my sarcasm wasn't plain.

I know you caught it, Geoff.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that reporters who speak to private groups or organizations can justify it if they apply two principles:

1. Don't take money for the appearance.

2. Don't speak at any event that is behind closed doors or secret.

I am a reporter who gets occasional invitations to speak, and the first question I ask the person inviting me is whether the event is open to the public and/or to media coverage. If it's not, I don't do it. I don't believe anyone should get the benefit of my insights (such as they are) if my/my employer's audience isn't going to have equal access to them.

Plus, this policy maintains the distinction between me and the institutions I have to cover, and ensures I don't start thinking of myself as one of the club.