The great journalism debate

The great journalism debate

Posted on December 11 by Robert Lewis in Non-fiction, Recent Releases
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Little did I know four years ago when I began researching a book on the history of reporters on Parliament Hill — before the elections of Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump — that it would be published at the height of a great debate about the future of journalism and the credibility of its practitioners. But as sure as the word “news” follows “fake” these days, as I tour the country promoting Power, Prime Ministers and the Press, interviewers are asking questions that reflect an uncertain public mood about the press. Who to trust? What to believe? Those were questions rarely asked in the partisan era of political reporting.

After Confederation political parties either owned the newspapers or hired people who hued to the party line. Even in the early 1950s, senior Ottawa reporters wrote speeches for leaders and election brochures for their party. Compared to those days of yore, reporters today are more independent and, arguably, more credible. They have to be. They are under the microscope, where any misstep or partisan shot is rightly exposed.

In an era of clips and tweets — and the triumph of opinions over facts — Canadians need an honest and truthful press now, more than ever before.