Yukon government cancels interviews over coverage

Officials from the Yukon government cancelled two separate media requests this past week over objections to editorial content.

Justice department upset over editorial; Premier unhappy with tweets

The Yukon government has cancelled interviews with both Whitehorse newspapers within the past week.

In two separate incidents, officials took the step because they didn't like the treatment they were getting.

The cancellations started last week, when Premier Darrell Pasloski cancelled an interview with the Whitehorse Star. In an email, cabinet spokeswoman Elaine Schiman told the reporter,Chris Reynolds, it was over the way he characterized changes to Yukon's environmental regulations on Twitter.

She said cabinet ministers do hundreds of interviews a year and rarely decline media requests. "We occasionally turn down interviews when it appears the reporter has already made up their mind about what the story is going to say," Schiman told CBC Tuesday.

On Monday Justice department officials cancelled an interview with the Yukon News after an editorial that blasted the government's handling of solitary confinement at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre. "Given the editorial piece that appeared in last Friday’s edition of the Yukon News, the department lacks confidence at this time, that the story will offer journalistic balance and objectivity," the department wrote in an email to the paper.

Yukon News editor John Thompson says an editorial shouldn't be an excuse not to talk to a reporter. "Any half intelligent newspaper reader understands that an editorial is an opinion piece. It's not meant to be objective.

"I think the government could be a lot more open about what it's doing and the government would only come across looking better at the end."

The Justice department declined to comment.


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