Monday, December 17, 2007

CTV omits global warming/environment from top stories list

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:

  1. The high-flying loonie

  2. Canadian casualties in Afghanistan

  3. Media baron Conrad Black's legal saga

  4. Chinese product recalls

  5. The deadly, and controversial, use of tasers

  6. The trial and conviction of Robert Pickton

  7. The hunt for Canadian pedophiles in Thailand

  8. RCMP shootings

  9. Multiple births -- sextuplets, quadruplets -- recorded this year

  10. 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.

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Penny said...

I often object to the way the media think they know best what matters to Canadians. I found the sextuplets' birth interesting at the time, but had completely forgotten about it. Are any of them still alive?

I was bored stiff by the Conrad Black "drama" - which probably only matters to the press, because Black is one of them. I could also have lived without so much Schreiber coverage, too. Hearing Mulroney was much more edifying!!

Along with Global Warming, which has been turned into a HUGE story, whether you believe in it or not, I would add the global demand for oil: price, immorality, greed and other fun drama make for a big story - to me!!

RuralSandi said...

Our turn - conservative bias. Environment issues is one of the Conservatives' negatives and CTV wouldn't want to hurt their favourite PM - Mike Duffy probably made sure of that.

Like the BT's I'm crying media bias, media bias, media bias....

quaeitur said...

"CTV editors were “skeptical of the importance of global warming” as an issue on the top ten list."

Just another example of CTV's news censorship. I've stopped watching CTV news because of their spinning the news to suit themselves.

islandgirl said...

You don't see the irony in mentioning the omission of global warming after describing your circuitous route to the island?

Len said...

"9. Multiple births -- sextuplets, quadruplets -- recorded this year"


A BCer in Toronto said...

No, I appreciate the irony. Nevertheless, this was the cheapest routing and I couldn't afford a direct flight. As well, each of those nearly full planes would have flown with or without me.

jaycurrie said...

I wrote early in the year that global warming had jumped the shark. CTV realizes that.

For all the Bali-hoo, the science is becoming less certain by the day and the economics have not made sense from day 1.

But, most importantly, only a tiny minority of Canadians are willing to take the serious economic and lifestyle hit serious CO2 reduction implies when they see China and India getting a free ride.

So, from the perspective of what actually interests Canadians global warming doesn't make the list. A fact M. Dion has had to face again and again.

Aaron said...

I to have become wary of the bias with CTV, watching duffy consistently directing/continuing the direction of the topic to the Liberal Party... i guess we do have FOX news in Canada, albeit the Canadian Version.

I think it is very important to keep in mind that the science about climate change is overwhelming, the amount of disinformation is equally overwhelming... the only thing i can suggest is listen to what your gut says not your head, you will always be right!

Question - how many members of the Manley Report are on the Council of Foreign Relations?