02 April 2011

My Fellow Canadians: Where do you get your news?

Do you get paper delivery each morning? Read the national, provincial or local headlines from newspapers at work? Catch up on the news from papers left at Tim Hortons?

Do you instead get your news from the airwaves, via radio? From TV? Or online, from traditional or alternative news magazine and newspaper sites?

Regardless of where you get your news, its delivery begins with the journalist or reporter.

Everything you know about the goings-on in government and politicians' activities during and between election campaigns depends crucially on journalists getting that information for you, unless you do the digging yourself.

When a government or politician severely restricts or bars journalists consistently from doing their work, that government or politician is effectively restricting or barring YOU from getting crucial information.

That information in aggregate ultimately shapes the views of we citizens about the functioning of our government and the activities of our elected politicians. That information together tells us what we must know to make an informed ballot decision at times of elections.

This is why all Canadians should feel deeply disturbed that Steven Harper, as both the current Prime Minister of Canada and now as a federal candidate, consistently restricts and more often bars, both reporters' presence from key events and prohibits their questions.

Contrast this with the full access to media and the public by leaders of the opposition parties.

An attack on freedom of the press is an attack on you and me.

If you don't get that or don't care, then you are responsible for the further erosion of Canada's democracy.

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