In Media critique

By website editors, Nov. 4, 2014

For the past two days, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has been reporting on the elections held in the peoples republics of Donetsk and Luhansk on November 2. The story has been near-top on national radio news. It is also reported on the CBC website. All the reports feature the denunciations of the elections by leaders of NATO, Europe and the U.S.

The Globe and Mail assigned a leading writer to the story and he has been reporting from Donetsk for the past week. Here, too, the reporting focuses on the denunciations of the electoral exercises, its purported shortcomings and the alleged illegitimacy of the leaders of Luhansk and Donetsk.

No such reporting enthusiasm was shown by either outlet during the many months of shelling of towns and cities in southeast Ukraine by the governing regime in Kyiv. Typically, mainstream Canadian media outlets described the shellings and other military atrocities being committed as an apparently confused jumble of ‘conflict’ between the Kyiv government and the rebel/pro-autonomy movement in the southeast. No one was seemingly responsible, though the use of terminology such as “separatists” or “pro-Russia seperatists” to describe the rebels created a deliberate bias.

When the New York Times and Human Rights Watch issued reports on Oct 20 of the evidence of use of cluster bombs and rockets by Kyiv’s army and/or militias, the CBC did not report the story. Its weekday evening newsmagazine program As It Happens saved the network from total disgrace over its non-reporting when it aired a story on the cluster weapons on Oct 28, eight days following the issuance of the original reports.

The Globe and Mail, meanwhile, published the original New York Times story on its website, but in the print edition the following day, it selected a wire service story which emphasized predictable denials by the Ukraine government that it uses cluster weapons. Of the other print media in Canada which reported the story (by no means all), they also opted for wire service/denial reports.


EDITOR’S NOTE: We remind our readers that publication of articles on our site does not mean that we agree with what is written. Our policy is to publish anything which we consider of interest, so as to assist our readers in forming their opinions. Sometimes we even publish articles with which we totally disagree, since we believe it is important for our readers to be informed on as wide a spectrum of views as possible.

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