Personal Responsibility and the Media
Publication:
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 1 Dec 1994, p. 101-111


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Personal Responsibility and the Media


Living through a monumental era of transition and, often, brutal change. How journalism has assisted apathy by knee-jerking us all into a kind of stupefied cynicism. Sharing blame in our desensitization: the media and the consumer. Personal responsibility of both the purveyor and the consumer of media. The properness of practitioners of journalism to scrutinise their own craft openly. Reference to George Bain's book "Gotcha! How the Media Distort the News" as full of "eye-opening specifics, as well as suggestions for sensible, pragmatic correctives." Confusion for journalists as to who they are and what they are supposed to be doing. Personal experience in the People's Republic of China in 1977 when the speaker was sent there by the Globe and Mail. What the speaker learned from this experience in terms of journalistic responsibility. Learning the discipline of being a witness, which is qualitatively different from being an observer or commentator. The beginning of a process that never stops. Journalists writing for their fathers and mothers, for their spouses, for their children, for their friends and close colleagues rather than a mass audience as a revolutionary concept.