Health Canada's response to AlphaMax controversy in NB/ Phone In: Your opinion on media coverage of the Russell Williams case/.
Short and Sweet: Earlier this week, Mathew Abbott of the Fundy Baykeeper raised concerns about the use of the pesticide Alphamax to control a sea lice infestation in some salmon farm operations in the Bay of Fundy. Mr Abbot says the active chemical ingredient in Alphamax - deltamethrin - can cause damage to crustaceans, such as lobster. We asked Health Canada to provide a spokesperson to discuss the use of Alphamax in aquaculture operations. They declined. Instead they sent us an email that states the use of AlphaMax was approved in New Brunswick, with certain restrictions. The email goes on to say that the pesticide does not pose unacceptable risks to human health or the environment if it's used properly.
Coverage of the Russell Williams Case: It was a challenge for newsrooms, which are hard wired to get stories out. But the level of depravity and calculated cruelty in this case gave everyone pause. Every news organization in the country made decisions about level of detail they would report. The Globe and Mail kept some of the more disturbing photographic evidence off its front page. CBC used pictures selectively, and cropped them. If you wanted to read the details on some on-line news sites, you first had to click past a strongly worded caution about the contents and images you were about to see and read. The judge's decision to allow reporters to live blog and tweet from the courtroom took the coverage to a new, and overwhelming level, and that has intensified the debate over what to report, and what to hold back.
The release of images entered into evidence, the detailed and methodical presentation of the facts, and the ability to report live from the courtroom - it all allowed media organizations an unprecedented level of access - and exposed Canadians to a flood of detail that many of them could have done without. Esther Enkin is the Executive Editor of CBC News. She helped decide what you heard, saw and read on the CBC. Tim Currie teaches online journalism at the University of Kings College in Halifax, and chairs the Social Media Panel of the Canadian Association of Journalists. They were our guests, and we asked for your opinion of the media coverage of the case of Russell Williams.
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