In what was an amazingly good news announcement from PM Stephen Harper that Canada will pledge $3.5 billion to the United Nation’s in order to “improve maternal, newborn and child health care in the poorest, crisis-ridden countries” (see Star editorial) Macleans’ Paul Wells writes about, the Media Party:
Here’s the page of information for reporters at the “Saving Every Woman, Every Child” summit Stephen Harper’s government is running in Toronto. Highlights:
“Media representatives may consult liaison officers at the Media Centre information desk for all their needs. Officers may travel with media representatives in some instances.” In practice, this turns out to mean that reporters are being escorted to toilets like three-year-olds.
“Media accreditation will allow access to the media centre and media activities. However, some events will be accessible only through restricted pool coverage.” In practice, this means that reporters are being kept for extended periods in a “media centre” to which no images or audio from the conference floor is transmitted. And they are not permitted to leave it. While it is true that “some events” are accessible only through pools — one or two reporters whose accounts of activities are shared with all interested colleagues — it is also true that most events aren’t accessible at all.
And you know what? All they had to do was tell us. If there had just been a line on the website that said, “NOTE: Reporters will not be permitted to cover most of this conference, even if they show up,” Maclean’s would not have darkened their door. We’ve got better ways to stay busy.
Wells apparently makes the decisions for Macleans on boycotting events based on his 2nd hand perceptions of access issues – I wonder if Macleans’ owners Rogers Media are aware of his editorial power? Think about the amount of arrogance it takes to declare something like that.
And instead of mentioning the reaction and support of Harper’s announcement from Bill Gate’s wife Melinda:
Wells whines about access again:
The entire afternoon program was going to be off-limits today until a few of us made some fuss on Twitter and reporters were permitted to hear Melinda Gates speak.
But the icing on the cake is Wells informing us Conservatives that the guy who took us to government and won the last 3 consecutive elections is ruining our party because he’s not nice to the Press Gallery:
Now he’s done it again, picking a fight we weren’t interested in, for no reason. Harper’s instincts are sometimes really bad, and when his latest advisers let those instincts win, reporters are the least of their problems. Their problem is Stephen Harper. (see here)
This of course is only in Wells’ creepily vicious, self-centered Harper-Derangement plagued world – in the real one, peoples’ lives are being saved.