American media should learn from cousin to the north
The terrorist attack in Canada presented a great opportunity to see how the media in two similar countries addressed the same event. It was clear that America would have its typical reaction, hyperventilation. This has not served us well as it has kept the American population at large off keel.
The video above was a cute (if not self-serving) compilation of that reality but worth seeing. The Mother Jones article “Canada’s Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame” is worth a read.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation today gave a master class in calm, credible breaking-news reporting.
Anchored by the unflappable Peter Mansbridge, news of the shootings in Ottawa unfolded live on the CBC much like they do here in the United States: lots of sketchy details, conflicting reports, unreliable witnesses, and a thick fog of confusion. All of that was familiar. What was less familiar was how Mansbridge and his team managed that confusion, conveying a concise and fact-based version of fast-moving events to viewers across Canada and the world.
This live bit of level-headed reporting by Mansbridge, from around 11:10 a.m. Wednesday, should be given to journalism students around the country. It basically contains everything you need to know about why CBC did its audience proud:
MANSBRIDGE: And so, the situation is, as we say, tense and unclear. And it’s on days like this—we keep reminding you of this and it’s important—it’s on days like this, where a story takes a number of different pathways, a number of changes occur, and often rumors start in a situation like this. We try to keep them out of our coverage, but when they come, sometimes from official sources, like members of Parliament, you tend to give them some credence. But you carefully weigh it with what we’re also witnessing. It’s clear that the situation is not over. It is clear the police are in an intense standby situation and continue to be on the lookout, and until somebody blows the all-clear on this we will continue to stay on top of it and watch as the events unfold.
The general hyperventilating modus operandi of the American media has consequences far and beyond. It is directly responsible for politicians using the overreaction of Americans to effect corporate centric policies that hurt us all. From the warmongering industrial complex promoting war to the support of bad medicine and social polices, we are seeing middle class wealth destructing effects.
(h/t Bobby Rodrigo)