The Canadian chapter of the International Free Press Society (IFPS-Canada) has become the first to recognize the valuable work of reporter Bill Jackson and his employer – Caledonia’s Regional News – in covering the Caledonia crisis.
IFPS-Canada – with Bill’s permission – has reprinted his Nov 03/10 editorial ‘Comment’ in the Regional in which he explained his journalistic approach and his feelings about he and his paper being recognized by the founders of Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality (CANACE) with the presentation of a print of Barb Patterson-Tuck’s award-winning painting, Caught in the Middle, at the Cayuga launch party for Christie Blatchford’s book Helpless. Blatchford was also presented with a copy of the print by CANACE.
IFPS-Canada: Defending democracy’s watchdogs
Many people do not know that Bill Jackson was assaulted by native protesters after he took photos of them attacking the elderly Gunther and Kathe Golke in their car in the Canadian Tire parking lot on June 09/06. They stole his camera which was eventually returned to him after ‘negotiations’ through an OPP officer – minus the digital chip containing all the evidence of their crime.
IFPS-Canada defends those have refused to be silenced. They are the organization which brought people like Ann Coulter, Lars Vilks, Philippe Karsenty and Bat Ye’or to Canada, which puts Bill Jackson in some fine company. Their recognition of Jackson and the Regional is very much appreciated and very much deserved; Jackson’s journalistic philosophy – tested under fire during the near-complete collapse of the rule of law during one of the greatest policing failures in Canadian history – should be required reading for journalism students.
Kudos to Caledonia Regional News and Bill Jackson
At IFPS-Canada, we bemoan the lack of objective news coverage given to politically incorrect subjects. It is therefore a treat to be able to recognize a publication which, perhaps by dint of closeness to the community it serves, has delivered the news in a responsible fashion by providing the public with straight facts in a hostile environment. Reporter Bill Jackson and the Caledonia Regional News deserve high praise for the coverage they provided during the occupation in Caledonia despite being subjected to various intimidation tactics (physical assaults, stolen cameras, etc.) in attempts to dissuade them from faithfully covering the disturbing events.
The media has a tremendous responsibility and a difficult task in reporting the news in an unbiased manner when the stakes are high, nerves are raw and many masters are vying to be served. This task becomes especially difficult when dealing with a news story that is racially charged, as has been the case in Caledonia over the last few years.
However, the people at the centre of these stories have a reasonable expectation that their perspective will be part of the news coverage regardless of the challenges. When they turn on the news and find that this is not the case, they may feel as if they’ve been victimized twice. With violent events swirling around them but virtual silence about their plight in the wider media, they may feel as if they are in a world unto themselves, disconnected from their fellow Canadians who are unaware of their good fortune in remaining outside of the chaos.
The media has the ability, whether employed consciously or not, to perform a strange alchemy which can turn base metals into media gold on behalf of one set of characters in a story. In order to effect the transmutation, certain elements must be introduced and certain others eliminated so that in the end, bullies have been transformed into victims and victims into villains. Voila!
While the Caledonia Regional News resisted this temptation to transform reality, many other media outlets did not. One can imagine then the relief felt by those caught in the middle (including those at the Caledonia Regional News) when someone from the outside was finally going to tell their story to a wider audience in a factually correct manner.
Read the rest of this article, including Bill Jackson’s journalistic philosophy that set him and the Regional apart as true ‘watchdogs of democracy’…
- IFPS-Canada, Dec 07/10: Kudos to Caledonia Regional News and Bill Jackson
I have, over the past few years, done my best in various posts to recognize Bill Jackson and the Regional for fulfilling what I believe are the highest standards of journalism. The contrast between the Regional and other so-called mainstream media could not be more stark. Check out the links/references in these stories:
- VoiceofCanada, July 08/10: Are media ‘scum’ McHale letter to Dunnville Chronicle
- VoiceofCanada, March 01/09: McGuinty’s Ipperwash Cover-up: The Caledonia Legacy (Regional is 1st to help us tell this important story!)
- VoiceofCanada, Nov 05/10: Shoddy Caledonia journalism continues…
- VoiceofCanada, Dec 01/10: Gary McHale to CBC: Why conservatives cannot trust the CBC (“I guess the CBC needed a body in the morgue before the story could run.”)
- VoiceofCanada, Dec 05/07: Brantford Expositor endorses violence against civil rights activist
I once said the following about the Regional News and Bill Jackson and my opinion has not changed:
From the perspective of someone who has risked my safety, reputation, freedom and financial security to keep native thugs, corrupt police and politicians from destroying everything I value about my country I’ll take one Bill Jackson and The Regional over the Spectator, Expositor, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun and CBC combined.
When the politicians and police finally realize that no realistic landclaim solution is possible if they continue to ignore the innocent victims of landclaim lawlessness it will be due in no small part because one courageous newspaper and a gutsy reporter held true to the highest and finest ideals of journalism in a town where fear has silenced so many.
- VoiceofCanada, July 23/08: Ryerson Review of Journalism: McHale & Vandermaas important news sources for Caledonia dispute
I have, from time to time, quoted British publisher Lord Northcliffe (1865-1922) who said, “News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising.” I think the highest compliment I could pay Bill Jackson and the Regional News is that they know the difference between news and advertising.
Many thanks to IFPS-Canada for taking time to recognize some of the ‘good guys.’
Mark Vandermaas, Editor