Should reporters be deputies for the police?

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Should reporters be deputies for the police?


I found [url= blog post[/color][/url] quite amazing. You should read the whole thing, but I'll try to quote enough to give the flavour:

A ruling by the Manitoba Court of Appeal this week has some important lessons for police and the media, and the troubling tendency on the part of police agencies to use media to further their investigations.

[SNIP - story of incident which led to the "production order" is omitted here]

Instead of responding to the call for an independent inquiry, the RCMP decided to ratchet up its own investigation. Police were granted an ex parte hearing before a provincial court judge. The judge issued production orders which would force CBC, CTV, Global and APTN to turn over all their videotaped material from the press conference and the one-on-one interviews that followed.

And everything about these production orders was to remain a secret. Here is the provision as it applied to the CBC:

"Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and any employee, servant or agent shall not directly or indirectly disclose or permit disclosure of the content, existence or operation of this order, in any manner, or to any person except as may be necessary for the purposes of compliance with its terms or obtaining the advice or assistance of legal counsel unless otherwise ordered by a Court of competent jurisdiction."

Failing to comply with a production order carries a fine of up to $250,000, or a six-month jail term.

CBC and CTV refused to comply with the orders and took the matter to court, where Justice Glenn Joyal of Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench quashed the orders. He ruled that the production orders constituted an unreasonable search of a media organization pursuant to section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Attorney General of Manitoba and Canada both appealed that decision to the Manitoba Court of Appeal. Earlier this week, the appeal court upheld Justice Joyal's judgment and dismissed the government's appeals.


Thanks for the post. Most mainstream media like CTV, Global (especially Global) are somewhat backed into a corner when it comes to crime stories.

It's considered "un-community-like", to not report a story with a certain "angle".

The police can cut off info to the local media. And in small towns and cities, that means you don't believe in the law and order agenda. Hence, you don't get the support of local business when it comes time to sell radio and tv airtime.

Local police are usually the stars of the community and if you want to be local media in that lil ole cowtown, they ain't gonna know you from spit if you don't accept the law and order agenda that comes with it.

Global in particular is a narcissitic, self obsessed blonde station that thrives on "exclusive" police takedowns and helo shots of tarp-covered bodies etc, etc. No real journalism there.

I mean when the main female news anchor at Global Edmonton is married to an EPS police inspector, what does that do to credibility?



It must be the eggnog. Unionist that was an amazing blog thank you.



As a person who has walked a few picket lines, I've noticed how local media doesn't mind acting as a kind of agent provocatuer, and evidence collector for police.    With that in mind, I've never viewed them as anything but an enemy in such circumstances.   


Now, with the advent of the internet and user friendly video cameras, many organizations should be looking at pointedly excluding the MSM and going straight to Youtube. 


The way to subvert local media and its pretenses is to get your own video camera, digital voice recorder and then use the internet to post it on a blog, website or other site. Now I am not saying that you can put out a polished product or that you will even be balanced and accurate in your viewpoint, but it certainly could help counteract local media's power.

It used to be that you could never hope to succeed with that but technology has actually worked in a unique way to equalized things in new and interesting ways.

I don't even watch local tv news anymore. What for? I don't listen to local radio news either... again, what for? It's all the same old nonsense over and over again.

The world of podcasts, newsblogs and other citizen sources is taking over what was an expensive glorified entertainment/infotainment medium called news or local news... whatever you want to call it. It's not a real reflection of your community. It is just there for selling airtime and image.