There was a comment recently about how a journalist interviewed LaPierre on his shale gas report and hammered him and then interviewed Dr. Cleary and treated her like Mother Theresa. I can’t shed any insight into the approach or views of specific journalists but I was told something once by a veterin political journalist in the province that put things into perspective for me. I asked him what was the role of the journalist when it came to big, controversial public policy issues (the one at the time was the sale of NB Power to HQ). After thinking about it he said it was to look out for the little guy or the man on the street – I am paraphrasing here. In his mind, governments have their spin machines and message makers, big industry groups and other organizations also have organized machines to get their points across but the average guy/gal on the street doesn’t. Therefore, for him, the journalist should be extra vigilant on the big files.
From this perspective you can somewhat understand the journalist being harder on LaPierre and easier on Cleary. Lapierre is advocating for a ‘change’ – dealing with natural resources and existing controversy in the United States. Cleary is looking out for the little guy, too.
I don’t particularly mind that definition of a journalist. I only quibble with the definition of the ‘interests’ of that woman the street. I argue she would be better off living in a province with a stronger economy, even if she had to put up with drilling trucks on the roads and hard hatted men in the local casino.
No one ever said journalists were impartial or disinterested actors.