Eye on the Media

The Current takes a critical look at the ever-changing state of journalism...and how journalists do their jobs.



Reporting on Sony hack has some blaming media as enabling crime

Reporting on Sony hack has some blaming media as enabling crime
An epic leak of top-secret info. Unguarded e-mails by power-brokers revealed. Secret new projects exposed in detail. Today, our Eye on The Media considers news-gathered through crime as opposed to news gathered through leaks. Is there a difference?

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Rolling Stone campus rape story scandal a lesson to journalists

Rolling Stone campus rape story scandal a lesson to journalists
What began as a disturbing expose of one woman's traumatic ordeal at a fraternity house at an America university has evolved into apologies from the publication and criticisms over everything from journalistic blunders .... to insensitivity. Today, our Eye On The Media is asking about responsibility and transparency in the coverage of sexual assault.

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Former hostage Amanda Lindhout says airing videos of ISIS murdering captives gives extremists exactly what they want

Former hostage Amanda Lindhout says airing videos of ISIS murdering captives gives extremists exactly what they want
Amanda Lindhout's own experience as a hostage has disturbing parallels to those held captive by ISIS today. And like the jihadists who produce videos of beheadings, the Islamic extremists who held her in Somalia also sought attention through seemingly irresistible media baiting. So how culpable is the media, mainstream and social, in what's unfolding? Are we keeping the public informed or playing into deadly propaganda?

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Journalism in China is facing stricter laws in media control, forcing some journalists to go underground

Journalism in China is facing stricter laws in media control, forcing some journalists to go underground
if a couple of Canadian coffee shop operators can face charges of stealing state secrets by the Beijing government, imagine how carefully Chinese journalists must tread to research and write a story. We hear from two Chinese journalists who know first hand the perils of trying to do their job.

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Suroosh Alvi on reinventing VICE

Suroosh Alvi on reinventing VICE
As part of our Eye on the Media series, we hear how the company with a wobbly beginning as a lifestyle magazine in Montreal has grown into a worldwide media powerhouse.

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Covering the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Can the media ever get it right?

Covering the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Can the media ever get it right?
It's a story that generates a level of scrutiny, debate and fury unlike almost any other. As part of our Eye on the Media series, we're asking how journalists are doing with their coverage of the conflict, and examining audience reactions.

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Should journalists have boycotted Rob Ford's invitation-only press conference?

Should journalists have boycotted Rob Ford's invitation-only press conference?
Rob Ford marked his return by holding a press conference with only a select group of journalists. Some say the media should have boycotted the event in protest. As part of The Current's ongoing Eye on the Media series, we're discussing the idea of media boycotts.

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(Health) news you can't use

(Health) news you can't use
In 2003, researchers found that an antioxidant in red wine could improve health. But new research says we've been guzzling misinformation. As part of our Eye on the Media series we're looking at the challenges of reporting on scientific studies.

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Reporting on scandal

Reporting on scandal
As part of our ongoing Eye on The Media project, we take a look at how a major scandal is pursued by local media. We asked three investigative reporters: Robyn Doolittle, Wendy Ruderman, and Barbara Laker, to share their experiences.

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Who owns the patent on podcasting?

Who owns the patent on podcasting?
The podcast has become an integral part of today's media ... but who invented the podcast? American Jim Logan says he holds the patent and he's suing a list of companies for compensation. But his critics say he's a Patent Troll.

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Is fear a useful tool in communicating climate change issues?

Is fear a useful tool in communicating climate change issues?
From Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" to James Cameron's new "Years of Living Dangerously" to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the message on the Earth's future ranges from analytical to apocalyptic, to more apocalyptic. Today, our Eye on The Media is looking at the message - Is it fear-mongering? And is it backfiring?

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Access to politicians has rarely been more controlling. Try finding a politician to ask.

Access to politicians has rarely been more controlling. Try finding a politician to ask.
Politicians are doing a lot more to control access and shield themselves from pesky reporters. From Ottawa to Washington and beyond, questions are being raised about the lack of opportunity to ask questions of our politicians. And the lack of answers given.

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VICE Magazine Co-Founder Suroosh Alvi

VICE Magazine Co-Founder Suroosh Alvi
In an age of devastating layoffs and shrinking media companies, VICE co-founder Suroosh Alvi stands out with a new business model offering documentaries, newscasts and ongoing series featuring people who just had sex. He's got a world-wide audience, solidly attracting younger viewers and a journalistic record that varies from stunt to inspired.

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Debating the ethics of journalists & paid speaking engagements

Debating the ethics of journalists & paid speaking engagements
CBC commentator Rex Murphy is known for his strong opinions. But when it was revealed he's been paid to speak at oil industry gatherings, critics cried 'conflict of interest.' Now CBC chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge is under fire for getting paid for a speech to the same industry. We ask when it's appropriate for members of the media to speak ... and when it's not.

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Drone Journalism: Is Canada ready?

Drone Journalism: Is Canada ready?
Drones are going from making the news for deadly aerial bombings to gathering the news - aerial vehicles equipped with cameras have flown over disasters - in the pursuit of a story. Today, we hear from the first Journalism School in Canada teaching its students to use drones and from those who say the technology raises questions of ethics and safety.

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Should media sites stop feeding the Trolls and abandon online comment sections?

Should media sites stop feeding the Trolls and abandon online comment sections?
The internet troll ... nasty, brutish and short-tempered and according to a study just out of the University of Manitoba, someone with the personality of the Marquis de Sade. Now, the Trolls may be endangering themselves as Comment Sections either disappear or crack down and demand an end to anonymity.

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Alain de Botton on why we need to scale back on too much news

Alain de Botton on why we need to scale back on too much news
Is the news making us stupid? A British philosopher has written a user's guide to the news. One that encourages journalists to be poets, journalism to be a government in exile, and the occasional falsification to achieve a higher purpose. You may never think of news the same way again.

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The dangers journalists face in Egypt

The dangers journalists face in Egypt
General Abdel Fatah el-Sisi, now Egypt's defacto ruler presides over a crackdown on journalists that is so severe they risk charges of terrorism should they dare to interview or report on the political opposition. Today, we hear from journalists who have put themselves at risk documenting Egypt's turmoil.

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National security vs. press freedom: How to strike the right balance?

 National security vs. press freedom: How to strike the right balance?
Thanks to a well known whistleblower, the CBC came into possession of some secret U.S. documents concerning spying in Canada. We reveal the story of what's in the documents and how the CBC and other news organizations struggle with classified information, freedom of the press, public interest, and national security.

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Paul Salopek: Almost 1 year into his 7-year walking tour of the world

Paul Salopek: Almost 1 year into his 7-year walking tour of the world

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek is almost one year into an epic walk around the world. He has another six years to go, but he has plenty of stories about what he's seen so far. We check in with him and hear what he's learned along the way.

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Reporting on Rob Ford: Is seeing believing?

Reporting on Rob Ford: Is seeing believing?
Journalists and journalism have taken a bashing from the embattled Ford brothers over a video that only three journalists say they have seen and which purports to show the Toronto Mayor smoking crack cocaine. In the frenzy that has followed there exists the ongoing demand to produce the pictures. But in a world where journalists have always gone, observed, witnessed, questioned and written-it-up we're asking why and if playing that video for the masses is even necessary.

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What does posing as "oppressed" accomplish?

What does posing as
Over decades journalists have disguised themselves to report on those different from them ... the homeless or marginalized workers. And just this month in Egypt, an actor disguised as a woman walked the streets of Cairo to expose sexual harassment and abuse. Some ask ... why pretend? Why not just follow the real people affected ? Today, we've got our Eye on the Media looking for answers.

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Branded Content: Blurring the line between editorial & advertorial

Branded Content: Blurring the line between editorial & advertorial
Is it new Journalism? Or just clever PR? Digital information sites and even online portions of traditional news organizations are increasingly seduced by something called Sponsored Content or Brand Content or Native Content, essentially stories commissioned by companies or advertisers designed to blend seamlessly into real news content. It can be lucrative but does it blur the lines with legitimate journalism? And what does it do to the quest for hard credible information?

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What does 'robot reporting' mean for journalism?

What does 'robot reporting' mean for journalism?
Robots lurched into factories to replace the assembly line workers. Now could they be squeezing into newsrooms to replace journalists? There is computer software available that can fact-check and even provide editorial content. But is the world ready for the supercomputer journalist?

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Freelance Journalists & War Coverage

Freelance Journalists & War Coverage
The story of the Syrian conflict is uploaded by courageous citizens but it is also documented by a knot of determined foreign journalists, many of them freelancers. And now a decision by an influential British newspaper to refuse all work out of Syria offered by freelancers raises questions of liability, responsibility and also of getting critical information out. Today we look at the implications.

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Newtown shooting media mistakes: Is it okay to get facts wrong?

Newtown shooting media mistakes: Is it okay to get facts wrong?
In the first hours after Friday's massacre in Newtown, there was a volley of information and a flurry of corrections. Two shooters .. one .. a mother who taught there .. who didn't .. .. a name that was wrong .. the gunman buzzed in ... broke in... And so it continued. Breaking news with all-news television, ready radio and online updates, tweets, postings and blogs can be a cacophony. Yes, journalists can make mistakes and correct them but in this era of information-surround ... Is it okay to get facts wrong? Again? And again? And still?

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Covering Suicide in the Media

Covering Suicide in the Media
The Vancouver School Board wants Media reporting on teen suicide to follow guidelines created by the Canadian Psychiatric Association. There's concern about copycat suicides, repetition, use of language. But there was a time not so long ago when Journalists didn't even cover teen suicide. So where's the line? What's the role of the journalist? What's the fallout around incessant coverage in a 24 hour news cycle? And with so much information, discussion and comment swirling on Social Media who will take Guidance from Guidelines ?

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Admitting journalistic bias on social media

Admitting journalistic bias on social media
For the average person on a social network, it's easy to apologize for a snarky comment. For journalists however, an unedited thought on social media can bring accusations of bias against the journalist's employer. We hear what the New York Times is doing about this -- and ask exactly what role reporters have in the 140 character universe.

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Trail Blazer Journalist Zubeida Mustafa

Trail Blazer Journalist Zubeida Mustafa
Meet Zubeida Mustafa. She is the first woman to report for Pakistan's English Language daily Dawn. Her first article on breast cancer was criticized as "Obscene" but she persisted in putting so-called women's issues on the news agenda and became a role model for a generation of Pakistani journalists. From Muhktar Mai to Malala Yousefzai, the women she covered to the women she mentored, Zubaida Mustafa shares a life-time of trail-blazing with us.

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The U.S. & Us: Reporting on the Election

The U.S. & Us: Reporting on the Election
The media monitors every word that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney utter. And depending on what side of the political fence you sit on, how journalists interpret those utterances and missteps is up for debate. Early on in the campaign, the Romney camp began to complain that the mainstream media was biased against him - and in love with Obama.

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Margaret Wente: Plagiarism Allegations

Margaret Wente: Plagiarism Allegations
Not all plagiarists are journalists. And, despite what you may have heard lately, not all journalists are plagiarists.This week Canadians are talking about allegations of plagiarism against Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente. Today, we want to talk about this and about the Globe's response, which some are saying has been almost as bad as the allegations themselves.

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Media Coverage of Gun Violence

Media Coverage of Gun Violence
Toronto has recently been shaken by a terrifying mass shooting at a block party. And some members of the black community are shaken by the way the crime is being portrayed in the media.

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