Blog by John Miller

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A shameful failure

October 1st, 2019

One year ago today, at 1:14 in the afternoon, American journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, where he’d been told he could be issued papers to marry his fiancé.

We now know that the Saudi-born columnist for the Washington Post was lured there under false pretenses. Waiting for him was a 15-person elite Saudi hit squad with orders to assassinate him ...

How to cover hate

September 29th, 2019

How should the news media identify and report on extremist groups in Canada? Should they report on them at all?

Across North America and Europe, there is no doubt that extremism—especially by right-wing groups like white supremacists and anti-Muslims—is on the rise. In Canada, the number of reported hate crimes skyrocketed 47 percent in 2017, according to the latest figures available from ...

It's about race

September 27th, 2019

Why should the outrage over Maxime Bernier being granted an audience with the Toronto Star editorial board remind us of the outrage over Justin Trudeau dressing up in brownface?

Because ... it misses the point.

The point we should be debating is evident if you read between the lines of Shree Paradkar’s remarkable column in the Star questioning her paper’s judgment. It was headlined “Givin ...

How not to do it

September 15th, 2019

How would you like it if you had to face Harold Munro’s problems when you woke up this morning?

The Vancouver Sun and Province, the newspapers he edits, published something he had to apologize for and expunge, after the poorly researched and xenophobic views of a freelance columnist slipped into print and sparked outrage among readers.

His own award-winning reporting staff courageously jo ...

When right is wrong

September 10th, 2019

Perhaps we ought to call it the Full Right Rudder problem.

When a ship makes a turn like that, the vessel is engineered to execute the radical change in direction safely. Everything is welded together, and the captain has his hands firmly on the tiller. But when such a manoeuvre is attempted at an organization with a lot more independently moving parts—like Canada’s largest newspaper chain ...

Who censored this?

July 1st, 2019

You may have not heard of Michael de Adder, but you should.

He is one of North America’s most accomplished and cutting-edge cartoonists, and last week he delivered one of his best—a devastating juxtaposition of Donald Trump choosing to golf past  the bodies of a migrant father and daughter who drowned trying to get into the United States.

Unfortunately, none of the readers of newspapers in ...

Doomed to failure

June 13th, 2019
What the federal government calls its Journalism and Written Media Independent Panel of Experts hasn’t had time to meet yet, but already there is evidence that Ottawa’s $600 million plan to help out the news industry is misguided and not likely to work.

The panel is supposed to lay out the ground rules for deciding which organizations qualify for tax breaks and charitable status—measures tha ...

Journalism threatened

May 30th, 2019
Independence.

It’s the most important core value of journalism. An independent media fosters trust that what it reports is accurate and it operates in the public interest, not beholden to something else.

News Media Canada is the country’s most influential advocate for a free and independent news industry. It represents more than 700 news organizations, mainly newspapers, across Canada.

Yet ...

Let's boycott THIS

May 1st, 2019

When I worked for newspapers, publishers would turn purple if anyone suggested they ought to accept money from the government for anything other than a paid ad. And there were certainly plenty of those back in the day.

We need to be independent from those we cover, they used to say. We will never compromise our journalistic principles or let anyone tell us what to cover or how to cover it.

...

We expect better

February 17th, 2019
Plagiarism derives from the Latin word plagiarius, which literally means “kidnapped” and figuratively means “literary thief.”

The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as the theft of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas or expressions” and presenting them as your own original work.

A journalist caught plagiarizing loses his or her reputation and has a good chance of losing their job. ...
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