Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Torch reality

A TSF tip of the hat to Paul Berton, editor-in-chief of the London Free Press, for remembering Ian Robertson in his blog posting on London's pending Olympics torch visit.

Ian, 61, was hospitalized with a concussion Friday after falling during a scuffle with torch security in Newmarket. It followed other incidents in Toronto and Peterborough involving torch security staff and media reps trying to do their jobs.

On Saturday, the Toronto Star's coverage of Ian's injury was a single paragraph in the print edition. The Globe and Mail, zilch. How many incidents does it take for media to realize there is a problem with security tactics?

But we digress. This is what Berton had to say:

The torch is coming! Yippee! I expect The London Free Press will treat the event with all the pomp and circumstance due such a thing, more or less.

Whether that's because a lot of people seem genuinely interested and excited by this elaborate publicity stunt, or because it's Christmastime and the news is getting slower by the hour as we approach the 25th, it's hard to say.

I must note, however, that was a nasty business in the Toronto area Friday, when a Toronto Sun photographer covering the torch relay was sent to the hospital with a concussion.

According to news reports that quoted a spokesman for the union representing journalists, security officers "shoved" Ian Robertson to the ground.

Sure, some crowd control is necessary for the safety of the torch bearer and others, but this sounds as if someone went overboard. The photographers were simply trying to get a good picture.

Besides, this is an Olympic torch (apparently available for sale by the dozen), and the event is simply a procession, heavily controlled by corporate sponsors such as Coca Cola. It's not as if it's a state secret and we're at war.

End of blog posting, but hopefully not the end of media analysis of what occurred in Newmarket, Toronto and Peterborough.

No comments:

Post a Comment