Opinion: What’s Happened to Objective Reporting?

I stopped watching CTV because of their consistent bias. When they call their “newscast” a show, that is exactly what it is – a show, not news. Recently, I decided to try finding a relatively objective newscast and watched several channels briefly and ended up hearing the same story told in different ways. This was very helpful in determining which channels give an objective report.

The story in question was about Terri-Lynne McClintic.* CTV, CityNews, and at least one other reported, “child killer McClintic . . . ” Each time it was said with emphasis which amounts to sensationalizing the story for network gain, in my opinion. Only Global News said, “McClintic . . .” without an adjective. It was actually startling, the difference in the presentation of the story.

Granted, there are times when adjectives are needed like when police are searching for a suspect, for example, “a Caucasian male, 5 foot 10 was seen fleeing the crime scene . . .” Or, in some news reports I have heard “Somalian,” and my personal pet peeve, “Native.”

When people are charged with a crime, do we really need to know their ethnic or cultural background? Does that not contribute to discrimination? In my opinion, it should be all or nothing. In every news report, label the ethnic or cultural background, or not at all – be consistent.

My main point is to listen carefully to words, especially what is being reported by media. What words do you use? Do you maintain the status quo and say what everyone else is saying, or are you a thinker and choose your words carefully?

**Editor’s Note:* Terri-Lynne McClintic is currently serving a life sentence for the first-degree murder of eight – year-old Tori Stafford.

Sharon Pasula is an Indigenous spiritual and cultural resource person who lives in Boyle Street.

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