- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

Yesterday I was honoured to be on a panel on Rogers with Doug Edgar, the Managing Editor of the Sun Times and long-time CFOS radio announcer Dave Carr.

We discussed the impact of media on democracy, and one issue that was raised was the subject of this commentary - using paid campaign staffers to give the impression of providing news content to the public. We all agreed that it was important for the public to be able to identify clearly and easily the line between reporting and campaigning.
In further off-air discussion with Mr. Carr, we both agreed that facts are one thing, opinion or editorial is another - and again, that should be clear to the reader/listener/viewer.

This article is an opinion-piece by Bill Kelly, an experienced radio announcer and commentator for Global News. He has used agreed upon facts - that the Ford campaign uses a senior staffer to act as a female reporter, microphone in hand, reporting breaking news about the PC leader.

Then Mr. Kelly has interpreted these facts - given his opinion on the facts.
His name is on the piece, and he is identified as a talk show host and commentator.

You may not agree with Mr. Kelly. Or with any of the dozens of other commentators who will speak about this election on radio, television, on-line or in print magazines or newspapers. That is what democracy is all about. It's what elections are all about.

Coming to your own decisions will require thought and discernment. Part of that is listening and learning from others about how they interpret the facts and evidence they are seeing and hearing. Some of that will be at the dinner table or coffee shop. Some will be through traditional and social media.

Being able to separate the facts - the evidence - from the opinion, hype, commentary and campaigning will be your job.

Campaigns and media outlets should not be making that job more difficult.


Our panel discussion will be live (and livestreamed) on Rogers TV Grey County May 10 at 7 p.m. and then will be available on their website.





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