Comment 81591

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2012 at 08:35:48

Eight months ago I expressed my hopes for enhanced news reporting as a result of the arrival of CBC Hamilton:

Somewhere in my thinking was the memory of how the CBC had made a meal out of Hamilton's water privatization saga...

...and how back in 1998, CBC heavyweight The Fifth Estate shaped the local news agenda helping to push the PSC/Taro Dump story from the pages of the Stoney Creek News and into the spotlight. It was the CBC that helped establish the legitimacy of claims that the Stoney Creek dump was cleared to import 14 solid or liquid hazardous wastes for interment at Taro. And it was the CBC's appearance in town for first of two documentaries on the dump that inspired the Spec to set aside its reflexive business-knows-best editorial bent and take the story more seriously as news.

IMHO, this is the value that the CBC brings to the table. There are more than enough blogs and media outlets that are all too happy to regurgitate verbatim the simple-Simon press releases they get from the Hamilton Economic Development, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, McMaster University, Tourism Hamilton as well as whatever "scoops" they sift from the feeds of #HamOnt tweeps. But that's lazy journalism. I question whether any news agency would really consider playing to the narcissism of its audience a notable success.

Whenever I finish a great news story, I am reminded of one of the principle tenets of Richard Roma: "I subscribe to the law of contrary public opinion... If everyone thinks one thing, then I say, bet the other way." If critical engagement isn't the foundation of your process, you're more algorithm than journalism.

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