A question about journalism

I have a legitimate question for the folks that read this blog that have some understanding of journalism. It’s not a rhetorical question or even a sarcastic one. I am genuinely curious.

The front page of the Times & Transcript ran two stories about the election today:

Liberal promises will cost NB $72 million more
What does the Tory tax cut do for you*

*This is a very attractive puff piece that quotes an expert as saying “Make no mistake about it – these are attractive savings” – talking about Lord’s previous tax cuts which supposedly save the person making $50k per year, $500 per year – less than the increased amount in gas tax and property tax.

But I digress.

The question for all you journalistic types is How does Al do it? I mean how does he get the journalists to join him on his fantastic crusade?

Does he sidle up to them and say I want you to hammer the Liberals?
Does he tell his layout people to bury the CRA election poll on page 143?
Does he call the journalists and tell them to start using pejorative words about the Liberals?
Does he tell his journalist to do an ‘indepth’ analysis of the Tory tax cut proposals?

Or did he hire journalists that think like him? Do they sit around the newsroom talking about how we can put the screws to the Liberals and sweeten the Tories (you will note the wonderful We Say this morning about the ‘medical school’ in Moncton)?

Or, finally, does he actually micromanage the journalists? So, does he tell them the stories he wants and the tonality?

I’d be very curious.

I will also be very curious to know if Monctonians are stupid enough to buy that crap. It’s an enticing proposition.

Imagine not having the CRA poll as front page news with five days left in the election.

That’s absolutely fascinating.

One last question to you journalistic types. Is there some weird familial battle going on between the TT and the TJ and does this play a role?

The TJ legitimately ran a front page story with big bold letters “Liberals Take Lead” with a flattering shot of Graham on a horse of all things (Napoleon or Wellington?).

Maybe this is more a family feud?

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0 Responses to A question about journalism

  1. startupfinanceguy says:

    Well, David, it’s all true. My wife and I take the T&T seriously…I read it to look at the construction stats and my wife looks at the obits to see if any of which of her patients did not make it yesterday. All kidding aside, there no possibility of any doubt on the fact that the Mr. Hogan is the editor and is using his paper to push his agenda. What’s in it for him? Who knows and who cares. Just too bad we can’t get up in the morning and read anything interesting or accurate about our local economy or politics.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I read an interesting post, it could have been here, where the author makes the point that by having different newspapers have different levels of propaganda, the Irvings make sure they can’t be faulted for being too ‘heavy handed’. If somebody says ‘the Irvings are playing too big a role’ then they will come back and say ‘well, no, just look at what THIS paper says’.

    Make no mistake, this is NOT Al Hogan. Like every editor he has a publisher who can fire him at will (just look at St. John or Miramichi). Each city is different though, so needs a different ’emphasis’. Moncton is Lord’s base, so its important that the whitewash be extreme. In Saint John, where there are more liberals anyway, its not so important. Plus, with the refinery and Irvings base there, the Irvings know that there is only so much the liberals can do. It’s not the government that is the newspapers focus-it is the Irvings. THey own them, and have interests in every field. Anybody that thinks the owners of newspapers, particularly ones with vast interests, don’t use them for their own edification, doens’t know much about business.

    You will notice that as polls pointed vaguely to Lord in the middle of the campaign, the T&T did lighten up a bit on the propaganda, just reread the blogs from those two weeks, they rarely talked about AL. Now, of course, we are ‘in the stretch’ and all gloves are off. This is the game editors play, because of course the Irvings don’t have much to fear from Graham or the liberals either. Can you imagine the headlines if they DID!

    It’s not like the Irvings are far away or more than a phone call away, blaming Al for what his bosses want is a little like Charles Leblanc being silly enough to think that it was actually the head of security Dan Brussieres who got him banned from the legislature-these people are just fall guys. Anybody who has worked for Irvings knows just how much THEY micromanage.

    That being said, you’re still smart to be pointing at Al, because its hard enough to get that story out, and because complaining about AL is the same as complaining about Irvings-but in a way that saves a lot of grief. If your blog were a lot more popular, you’d probably be getting huge amounts of spams and trolls.