I'm back in the Comox Valley, B.C. for the the holidays after managing to escape the East before the storm hit. I did a semi-mileage run on the way out, flying from Buffalo through Philadelphia, Baltimore, Phoenix and Vancouver to ensure I'd have enough miles to re qualify for Aeroplan Elite with Air Canada next year. Because I need my Maple Leaf Lounge. Amazingly, every leg went off without a hitch (really tasty steak sandwich in Phoenix) until my Vancouver to Comox leg, which was delayed four hours by strong winds on Vancouver Island.
I'm here now though, and I was watching CTV Newsnet this morning. 'Tis the season for year-end list stories, and CTV is early out of the gate with its list of the top Canadian news stories, as follows:
The high-flying loonie
Canadian casualties in Afghanistan
Media baron Conrad Black's legal saga
Chinese product recalls
The deadly, and controversial, use of tasers
The trial and conviction of Robert Pickton
The hunt for Canadian pedophiles in Thailand
Multiple births -- sextuplets, quadruplets -- recorded this year
The scandal surrounding former prime minister Brian Mulroney
I'd take issue with at least one of these choices, but first to one of the stories omitted. The Newsnet anchor had CTV News president Robert Hurst on to discuss the list, and she (I think rightly) gave him a hard time about the multiple births one.
More interesting though was when she asked why the environment/global warming wasn't on the list. It was certainly a big story this year, from Conservative fumbling on the file to Bali and the UN conference to Al Gore's Nobel prize and the rise of the Green Party. Hurst, however, said CTV editors were “skeptical of the importance of global warming” as an issue on the top ten list.
If we were just talking the size of the news made as criteria I'd cut Hurst some slack, although I'd still disagree with him. But he made the criteria importance. And yet, and here's where I take issue with the list, he included the Conrad Black trial?? Generated lots of coverage? Yes. Important story? Hells no. And more important than climate change? Not a chance.
I continue to be surprised by the Canadian media's obsession with all things Conrad. As a journalist myself I naturally have mild interest, as this is a guy that for better or worse largely helped to reshape the industry in which I work, but my interest isn't enough to warrant the media orgy that has surrounded the trial. I'm of the firm belief though that average, non-journalist Canadian doesn't give a crap about Conrad and Babs. It's a case of the media's own interests driving their coverage, and not the public's.Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers