Courier editorials – Life in the media; a sad place to be

I had a couple of topics I wanted to tackle this week, but find myself frankly out of inclination and engagement. I’ve been a member of the media for, well, it’ll be a decade in a couple of weeks and I have never considered leaving this profession behind as much in those 10 years as I have in the last 10 months, or even 10 weeks.

With the convoy of trucks in Ottawa the renewed rhetoric I see splashed across Facebook in particular maligning the media is exhausting. The comments of media in Canada being “state owned” (yes, tax dollars fund the CBC, but that’s it) and that the government somehow controls what the media says on a daily basis is, well, also exhausting.

Yes, there are programs in place which offer funding to media operations. Largely, that funding is only available to small outlets like the Courier, or CHCO TV and the like. Programs like the Local Journalism Initiative are what in large part keep community based media outlets alive; many would have otherwise been permanently removed from the community news landscape.

The Courier is in fact not the recipient of any of those funds, but I know many outlets which are, and I can attest to the fact the money doesn’t come with caveats surrounding what can and cannot be covered, or what can and cannot be said.

And yet, while we do our best with what we have (which is in many cases a skeleton of what it was years ago) in our efforts to bring the news of our regions to our residents, we are accused of bias and being controlled, oddly only ever by those who disagree with whatever information we’ve shared.

And while I’m a firm believer angry readers/listeners/watchers can mean we are doing our job right, I draw the line when that anger leads to threats, which it has done not only for me here at the Courier, but for friends in other media outlets.

To accuse the media of being controlled only to attempt to control what we say via threats seems ironic to me, but its where we find ourselves.

And it’s a sad place to be.

Krisi Marples