Thursday, 17 May 2007

McCann re PKP

An e-mail from Sean McCann, a veteran newsman who worked his way up the Sun ladder from Toronto Sun reporter in the 1970s to Calgary Sun managing editor in 2002.

"Re (Pierre Karl) Peladeau's comment: 'The practice of journalism is no longer and never will be what it was, and pangs of nostalgia will not change that.'

"There is a certain amount of truth in this statement from his perspective, but it's really spin. Of course the practice of journalism will never be the same. The practice that is. Computers, Internet, cellphones and all the other electronic wizardry have changed the practice of journalism. Instead of having say, an eight or 10 hour deadline, reporters now have maybe an hour deadline.

"But the essence of journalism will never change. The five Ws still rule. Our calling "charged with the truth" is still in place. Sure we may have to do it faster, but the craft doesn't change.

"The trouble with Peladeau and those who have never "been on the street" is they believe it's all b.s. They don't really believe anything journalists write, so they believe it doesn't matter. So what they call nostalgia, i.e. good solid journalism, isn't really necessary to put out a newspaper because the readers will lap up anything that's served up to them.

"So really, what he is saying is journalism isn't necessary in our society. So therefore we (older?) journalists are nostalgic . . . and redundant.

"I think the declining readership in his newspapers, and the unrest among staff, all point to one thing - readers are nostalgic too. But hardly redundant.

"Funny, such a smart businessman can't see that. But then, he and Conrad Black and other of their ilk believe they have all the answers. They move in specialized circles. We journalists only move with the ordinary folks.

"Now isn't that terribly nostalgic?"

Thank you for your e-mail Sean.

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