Saturday, September 10, 2011

Montreal Gazette Is But One Example Of False Reporting

The next NDP Leader will be decided by Labour. According to the NDP's constitution, unions will be receiving 25% of the vote in the upcoming NDP Leadership contest.

Is that true? No. Did that stop the Montreal Gazette's Jordan Press from reporting it two weeks ago? No.

On August 23rd when details were scarce in the immediate days following the death of NDP Leader Jack Layton, the Montreal Gazette published this article, at the time, besides a blogpost I had written, it was the only story, that I know of, that offered information on how the next NDP Leader was to be chosen. The problem was, it was completely false.

In the Montreal Gazette article reporter Jordan Press stated that labour organizations were Linkgoing to get 25% of the vote, even implying that such a rule was in the NDP's constitution. Mr. Press however must not have read the constitution because it makes no such requirement and as yesterday's news proves, Labour is not guaranteed any portion in the Leadership vote.

A day after Mr. Press's article, I corresponded with him, informing him of the error; I never received a reply. In the end, with his false story, all Mr. Press did was contribute yet another example of poor reporting from poor reporters, reporters who write for the number of words and not for the truth in them.

I will add a more personal opinion, and that is, our national media is becoming far lazier than the common person realizes. Major news organizations are frequently taking stories from blogs, regurgitating that news as if it was their own, not even including a hat-tip. I have had this done to me multiple times.

One fairly recent story was my reporting that the NDP was not posting its constitution on its website. I had originally written a post on it in 2008, making a YouTube video that same year. In 2009 I wrote another one, and in 2010, I did it again. Each time my website statistics showed thousands of hits, many from news organizations' servers. Shortly after each of those posts, a news agency would write a story on the same subject, with no reference, with no credit given.

Another example is this post I wrote on Harper's support of the Long-gun registry. I again received thousands of hits, and again many from news organizations. A week later, this and a few other stories were published, and again, there was no credit given.

These all may be individual coincidences, but when they happen in conjnction, with recorded visits to my site where the story originated, I do not buy it. I have often seen reporters copying bloggers' work without the slightest credit given, and I for one think its time for those reporters to either do their jobs or give credit to the people who do those jobs for them.

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