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3/08/2004

The News 

Do you watch the news?

I do. I've been watching it all year, I never had before. And I've been learning some interesting things about journalistic integrity and objectivity (or lack thereof.) For instance, about two weeks ago, Global News Montreal did a piece on graffiti in the Plateau district (where I happen to live). They showed several examples of particularly ugly tags, after which they interviewed Nicolas Tetrault, councillor for the Plateau/Mont Royal district who said he was doing everything in his power to ( and I paraphrase) "stop tagging and clean up our neighbourhoods" .

Last week Global News Montreal did another story on graffiti. This story was about 10 local graffiti artists who were chosen to attend a conference/workshop in Mexico. And how would they be paying for this $20 000 trip? Well, *some* of it *could* be coming straight from YOUR pocket! Global News then proceeded to show the exact same footage they had used a week earlier, showcasing the ugly tags. Then, they did another interview with Nicolas Tetrault in which he stated that the money would be better spent getting rid of graffiti than supporting these artists.
None of the artists were asked to comment.

Why?

Paul from the Guerrilla News Network talked about the right-ist point of view taken by major news networks and their refusal to do any stories which could negatively reflect their corporate sponsors. He also mentioned that these networks only carry stories which they believe will give them increased viewership.

I suppose the sponsors of the Canwest Global Corporation are anti-graffiti and anti-taxation, typically conservative, but this story was so very obviously flawed that I decided to go ahead and become an electronic activist. I sent Global Quebec an e-mail, berating them for their bias:

To Whom it May concern,

This is in regards to a story which was aired on Global News Montreal last
week. The story was about Montreal Graffiti artists who had been chosen to
attend a conference/workshop in Mexico this summer. I believe that the story

you presented was incredibly biased and uninformed. The footage shown with the
story was pictures of tags in the Plateau/Mont Royal district, not serious
works by the artists who were chosen to go to Mexico, none of whom were named
or interviewed.

Graffiti art is widely recognized as a valid artistic pursuit, which your story did not reflect at all.

Global Television should be ashamed of its lack of objectivity and journalistic integrity in the presentation of this story.

Sincerely,

Allie Caldwell

Communications Studies
Concordia University


I am yet to receive a reply.

I never was an active media consumer. But I think it's a very good idea indeed.

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