Saturday, March 29, 2003

Ombudsman: “NPR ... hostile to the conduct of the war”

Responding to “those who ask when will NPR resume 'normal,' (aka pre-Iraq) programming,” National Public Radio Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin responds “possibly not for a while -- if ever. In fact, it is likely that programming really ended on Sept. 11, 2001.”

He observes that:

Looking back at Sept. 11, 2001, it seemed easier then: It was a moment of national and journalistic consensus about the event. If my e-mail is any indication, the war in Iraq has brought many of the long-held contradictions and tensions among the press, the political elites and the people into sharp relief.

And makes this startling admission:

This war will be a challenge for all media -- including NPR. There will be efforts to make the journalism tamer under the guise of a patriotic appeal. Others will push NPR to be more openly hostile to the conduct of the war.

Your tax dollars at work.
posted at 7:42 AM

A new restriction on freedom of the press in Canada
Toronto Star ombudsman Don Sellar reports that under a new law in Canada, the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA):

there is one overriding principle: A young offender cannot be identified until a sentence has been imposed, and even then, only in limited circumstances.

The statute also prohibits the naming of a minor victim, unless both parents consent, and prohibits the identification of non-adult witnesses.

Nor are the restrictions consistent, as the law shields “the names of young victims or witnesses only when the crime was committed by a young offender, yet [allows] identification when an adult is to blame.”

Queries Sellar:

Would the law be respected if, say, a mayor's daughter had been murdered, yet media outlets were legally barred from identifying the victim or family?

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