Democracy and Independent Media - Emma Gilchrist

February 22, 2018

Emma Gilchrist
Democracy and Independent Media

Some newspapers dig.
Some newspapers are a constant embarrassment to the powerful.
Some manage to be entertaining, provocative and fair all at the same time.
There are few such newspapers in Canada.

That’s from a report written in 1970’s by the Special Senate Committee on Mass Media. Were they right then, are they right now?

Mainstream media tries to report all the news that’s fit to print, but the reality is it can only cover a handful of stories and its ability to dig deep has been hampered by shrinking budgets. Enter independent media outlets that are picking up the slack by taking on issues that fall outside the columns, airwaves and screens of traditional media.

In many cases, the journalists working for these outlets are some of the most tenacious diggers in the business. They take on specific issues and they do so from a particular point of view, peeling back the layers revealing what others have missed.

In the case of Site C, it was independent media outlet DeSmog Canada that uncovered facts about the controversial hydro project that everyone else missed. Once revealed, even the New York Times repeatedly cited the tiny online publication that is managed from a dining room table in Victoria.

We invited DeSmog Canada’s Editor-in-Chief, Emma Gilchrist to join us for a Conversation That Matters about the role of independent media in a democracy.

Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue presents Conversations That Matter. Join veteran Broadcaster Stuart McNish each week for an important and engaging Conversation about the issues shaping our future.

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