I tire of the wire

So here’s something I wrote about for MediaScout this week, but I really want to mention it here. It’s part of a trend in the mainstream press that really irks me. This article appeared in both the Citizen (who ran pretty much the same article) and the Globe (who ran a much, much shorter version).

To be honest, the story barely registered with me when I read the Globe. I jotted a note reminding myself to look back at it if I couldn’t find something else to Scout about, but I really didn’t pay it much attention (mostly because it was devoid of context).

But when I saw the Citizen article I decided to look into it more. I’d never heard of the 1996 “World Food Summit,” but knowing that Canada tends to be down with such summits, I popped “world food summit” and “canada” into google, just to see what I got. Try it yourself, this should be your first result.

Voila, a Canadian angle to the story. If you don’t follow politics at all, the “Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Agriculture” named as working on Canada’s contribution to the summit, is now the Minister of Finance. He who spends the money (or does for the next few days).

Sadly, neither the Globe nor the Citizen bothered to Canadianize this story. They copied and pasted from the wire and called it a day.

I understand that wires have become an indispensible part of the mainstream newsroom. When there’s an international story of interest, they can provide Canadians with news they otherwise wouldn’t get since foreign bureaus went the way of the dodo or the Carolina Hurricane fan. But this wasn’t a late breaking news story from a far-off land. It was a report issued by a UN agency. These things don’t come out of the blue; something tells me there was time for a reporter to scrum Mr. Goodale, or at least call his office (or the Agriculture Minsiter’s , or CIDA. . . ).

Is it just me, or is this lazy journalism?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *