Absolute Equality

Absolute Equality -

Women in Canadaland

I originally posted this on my personal Facebook page, but it’s a long rant and I thought it would be better here. 

I had been impressed with some of the work Jesse Brown was doing on Canadaland so far, but this morning Twitter is full of people talking about Brown’s claim that women from the Globe leaving their jobs because of sexism in the workplace… and the actual women from the Globe who have left for better jobs, not because of sexism, asking why he put them in this story without talking to them.

So I’m forced to wonder how you can critique the job that journalists do if you can’t do good journalism yourself.

Saying that you contacted these women and they didn’t comment when you haven’t done something so simple as tweet at them to get the right email address and then amending the blog post to say that you didn’t actually contact them and they didn’t actually have a chance to comment? Come on.

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Indicating that all of this list of women you name left the Globe because they couldn’t take the environment anymore when in fact a majority of them left for different (and better) jobs? That’s just more sexism.

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You can’t be a good media critic if you then try to do journalism and cock it up to this degree. You get things wrong and then when the people you were wrong about speak out you then ask them for a real comment and update your story?

That’s not good journalism.

If you want a great stream of consciousness on the topic, go see @Scaachi

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It’s frustrating because we do need media critics in this country and there is a problem with sexism in journalism (just like many, many other industries). But when you do the reporting badly that takes away from the story that could actually have been told here.

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As cynical as I am, I still believe in the power of good journalism. This was an opportunity wasted.

Further reading:

Vidya Kauri: Sexism in Canada’s media industry

Melissa Martin: The Problem with the Problem

Harperites vs The Media Party

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When Stephen Harper was first elected it was clear that he felt the entire public service was against him. (It was clear because he said as much). It’s become clear over the 10 years following his election that he and his inner circle feel the same way about the Parliamentary Press Gallery.

We have a Prime Minister who doesn’t speak to the media on a regular basis. When he does speak to the media questions are limited to two or three, split between English and French. These press conferences generally revolve around a specific event, like the visit of a foreign dignitary.

The feelings that this government has for the mainstream media was summed up very nicely by Harper spokesperson Kory Teneycke this weekend in an interview with Tom Clark.

Teneycke, despite dealing with the media for a living and having been a Sun News guy from the beginning of the network, was angry to have been asked questions about a news story involving his party.

While defending the CPC’s decision to use footage from ISIS in their latest commercial to make some sort of point about Justin Trudeau (and also possibly contravening their own anti-terror law and the Geneva Convention) Teneycke said something that I believe is the most honest expression of the CPC’s feelings about the media:

We’re better than the news. We’re truthful.

Not only do I believe that Kory Teneycke sees his party’s distortions of reality as the truth, I believe that the Conservative base feels the same way – that every criticism is somehow false or disingenious.

It’s problematic for someone like me who believes that journalists, who tend to work hard for a lot of time and little pay, are honestly curious to find the answers to questions no matter where they might lead. At least that’s where they start out – until they spend their days fighting just to get information that they public should have.

Other reading:

Global: Does the Conservatives’ new ad contravene their own terror law?

Toronto Star Editorial: Egregious delays on Access to Information requests must stop 

CTV: Oldest active access-to-information requests stretch back 6 years

 

Dear people of Ontario

I’ve been getting more and more angry about the way I’ve seen people reacting to the teachers of Ontario, so I wrote out my anger on my personal blog, cross-posting here. 

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I have heard reports from multiple teacher friends now that they have been on the receiving end of abuse from parents and I am now really, really angry.

Let me state right out: I am a supporter of unions. Though they have their issues, unions have done amazing things for people’s lives and the work that gets done. I am also a supporter of teachers. I cannot imagine how difficult a job it is to do. And yes, I know that there are some bad teachers – I had them too – but I also had some good teachers that probably changed my life.

Read the rest here. 

A magic $100 bill

I attended Question Period this week for the first time since I was a child. Obviously I’ve spent quite a bit of time watching it on TV, but being there in person was a different experience. The chamber is smaller than it seems and the Speaker is really hard to hear.

One thing I did learn while I was there is that this government, as represented by Pierre Poilievre not only believe that the $100 Universal Child Care Benefit gives families choice about their daycare arrangements, but that this monthly gift from the government is raising children out of poverty.

He said it at least twice. I am not making this up.

Single mothers working two jobs – one of pay for childcare so they can work the other job to pay rent and get food – lifted out of poverty simply because the government gave them $100.

I’m so glad that the single, childless career politician with a six-figure salary has figured this all out for us.

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