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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Hunting for truth

I'm thankful that I tuned to CBC's The National for its ferry coverage (see below) because that allowed me to see a teaser for special report, from Mark Kelley, about the Newfoundland seal hunt. The teaser promised a different perspective on the hunt, one which looked at the people who are at the centre of the storm -- the men and women who rely on the hunt for their income.

I stayed on the channel and watched Kelley's piece. It did not disappoint. Far from the usual facile reporting that TV presents on the issue, his special report made a real -- and successful, I think  -- attempt to show the sealers' point of view. The centrepiece of Kelley's report was a new documentary film by Anne Troake, whose family has been closely involved with the hunt for decades.

Kelley himself adopted a sympathetic and understanding attitude when interviewing the sealers, and asked insightful questions of the hunt's opponents. All in all, an entertaining, informative and heartwarming piece of TV journalism.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on March 23, 2006 in Media | Permalink


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I like my seal meat rare

CBC Rex Murphy does like to ass kiss too, suck up to Alberta politicians so hopefully he can get a free lunch and a free holiday at the Banff Hotel, which incidentally is not part of Alberta, but is Federal land.

redneck Albertans hate the CBC

Posted by: Jenette | 2006-03-23 11:35:46 AM

Wow, that was such a reasonable and balanced post it's convinced me to move to Ontario and vote Liberal.

At least this is the best offense that Liberals can muster, I suppose.

Posted by: Tozetre | 2006-03-23 12:18:00 PM

MArk Kelley is probably the best journalist they have working at MotherCorp.

I can't wait until Global or CTV snatches him up.

Posted by: Huck | 2006-03-23 12:30:46 PM

This reminds me of the spring bear hunt that was cancelled in Northern Ontario. Southern Ontarians did not seem to care about the reduction in business that hunters gave local companies in Northern Ontario. All they cared about was their ideals. Kind of like the McCartney ideals vs the people who rely on the seal hunt as part of their livelyhood. I am glad to hear the CBC aired the piece.

John M Reynolds

Posted by: jmrSudbury | 2006-03-23 12:40:39 PM

I saw Mark Kelley's report and I thought it was very good. Fairly balanced, unlike most of CBC's "news". I've often liked Kelley's style of interviewing, letting the people speak for themselves.

I was disappointed in Rex Murphy, however. His criticism of Harper's response to President Karzai was unjustified and unnecessarily harsh. There is only so much the PM can do. Let's see how it develops.

In retrospect, wasn't it a good thing that PMSH had just established rapport with Karzai? Something to build on.

Posted by: HJD | 2006-03-23 1:06:51 PM

Speller you were bragging here that you own two homes in Alberta
are they paid of yet?
As a real christian you should give one to the poor
He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. (Luke 3:11 KJV)

43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation. (Mat 12: KJV)

Posted by: Jean Pierre | 2006-03-23 2:20:31 PM

I only have one coat, Preacher psycho. Solid gold too.

You seem to have SO MANY personalities though. Aren't you the greedy one.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-03-23 2:50:32 PM

You made the mistake of saying you saw a good, objective report on the CBC. Around here they cling with a religious like fevour (ie. a Islamofascist like fervour) to the notion that the CBC IS EVIL.

Very small (and narrow) minded.

Posted by: Justin vs. the anti-Canadians | 2006-03-23 3:00:22 PM

I think that any government run communications network in the 21st century is fundamentally undemocratic and prone to use as a propaganda arm of the government.

Now that the CPC is the government of Canada it is quite possible they will defund the CBC if it doesn't produce more objective reporting.

I'd like to see them strike now.

Survival has a way of focusing a person's(journalist's) viewpoint.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-03-23 3:09:45 PM

Provided that they're not covering federal politics, or anything to do with America, CBC does some things very well. I always found Brian Stewart and Adrienne Arsenault in particular to be a credit to Canadian journalists.

Arsenault's Middle East Coverage is consistently excellent. In her coverage of Hamas' election, she managed to communicate the possibly grave magnitude of events without editorializing. There was nothing snide or loaded or sideways about her reports, just an old-fashioned bearing witness to the changing world.

Quite a change from Neil Mcdonald's big Scottish head blocking the view, spouting orders and advice for Israel in lieu of letting events speak for themselves.

Posted by: EBD | 2006-03-23 4:10:25 PM

I agree that the seal hung piece was very objective and the format was clever; visiting the Newfoundland areas that have tradtionally relied on the hunt, going out to the seals themselves (they are super cute) and then visiting the activists, including a native Newfoundlander. It was all in all very thought provoking.

I thought another excellent piece by Kelley was during the election when he took an Ontario Liberal supporter to Alberta. You could just see the stereotypes this woman held regarding the West begin to melt away. The turning point was when she toured the Calgary Drop In Centre, an amazing facility that was built entirely with private money which kind of broke down the image of Albertans as greedy, cold hearted capitalists.

Posted by: ChrisD | 2006-03-23 5:14:33 PM

Wow! A fair and balanced CBC report.

Seriously, it is good to see them doing a story on the seal hunt and how it affects Canadians, not glamour (I use the term very loosely) shots of aging Beatles and sex symbols.

Now that the Liberals are no longer their masters, I think the CBC are actually starting to take a fairer turn (albeit slow to catch on) on stories because the CPC will now be handing out money to them.

Posted by: On-Tory-O | 2006-03-23 5:38:45 PM

The CBC needs to do a lot better

it seems to like to make too many farts as well

Posted by: How true | 2006-03-23 5:41:44 PM

How True , Colin , Pierre , Preacher , Colleen , Mary-- Are you drunk again ?

Posted by: Ralph Klein | 2006-03-24 6:27:28 AM

I recall back to when Mulroney was in power. The CBC was always preferable to CTV. They avoided the most sensational of Mulroney-bashing. CBC was the station less hostile to the Conservatives.

I have always percieved a twofold perspective at the CBC: one socialist and one pro-government. When Liberals are in power the two instincts work together; when it's Conservatives, they conflict.

Nevertheless, Speller's point stands. Even if they were wholehearted and skillful proponents of the Conservative message, I would cut (or shrink) them. Having a major government-funded news outlet is a problem for democracy.

Posted by: pete e | 2006-03-25 1:28:41 AM

I wish I had seen Mark's piece!

If you'd like to watch 'My Ancestors were Rogues and Murderers' in its entirety, CBC Newsworld will be broadcasting it tonight (Tuesday) and Saturday.

The National Film Board documentary will air on The Lens, CBC Newsworld at 10:00 pm ET/PT Tuesday, April 04, 2006, and at the same time on Saturday, April 08, 2006.

Official information:

Watch the trailer:

Posted by: SkylarKD | 2006-04-04 8:07:18 AM

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