Monday, November 14, 2011

Winnipeg blogosphere backlash against Free Press hypocrisy

Today, Graham Hnatiuk blogged about a war of words started over on the Free Press website, after columnist Dan Lett didn't take kindly to being called out for ignoring allegations of election irregularities in the vote that resulted in Kevin Chief winning the Point Douglas seat at the legislature.

Hnatiuk raised serious issues about the derisive attitude of the Winnipeg Free Press towards citizen journalists, at the same time as they have joined forces with Red River College to administer a $400,000 program via the Winnipeg Foundation to "train" them.

I want to make clear that in no way do I think, or have I ever thought, that Dan Lett had anything to do with the "keep this confidential" backroom gang - style 'hit' of my reputation and my community radio program by pro-censorship elitists aligned with "people whose opinions we care about".

However, the following email from a listener about today's blog post demonstrates that even one year later, the actions of Free Press and Red River College officials and of their corporate radio "partners" masquerading as community representatives on the radio station board of directors, continues to cause deep mistrust in this community towards the MSM and Red River College - and has backfired on FP editor Margo Goodhand, her bossman Bob Cox, and RRC president Stephanie Forsyth.

Hi Graham and Marty,

Graham, your post today was very well written and highlights the arrogance and hypocrisy of some MSM members.

Folks like Mr. Lett are not used to being challenged and as a result instead of engaging the public, resort to ad hominum attacks.

Whether teddybaxter is right on his/her facts or not - he/she is actually a customer of Lett.

All Lett had to do was place his evidence forward and invite teddybaxter to do the same - while keeping his professionalism.

Instead the public is treated to "Behold the wonder of citizen journalism" and accusations of being "birthers" and 911 conspiracy folks.

This is an insult to every single "citizen journalist" and every single person who reads/listens to them (like me).
The MSM is losing the trust of the people that they supposedly serve. As a result those folks are increasingly looking for alternatives.

This scares the MSM because they are losing that exalted space that used to be theirs.

When backed into a corner they lash out.

I'm glad that you reiterated the cancellation of TGCTS. This has dire consequences for all community radio in this city.

If commercial/"elite" interests can get away with it at KICK, you can bet your ass they'll try it again somewhere else. What happened to TGCTS should not be forgotten. These jokers might not like something on your own radio program and all of a sudden there's no room at the inn at UMFM.

This past year has been one hell of an education for myself (and it's not over yet).

"Citizen Journalism" and the "Alternative Media" have never been needed more.

All the best as you continue your work


(Next podcast is a Tuesday special about Crime in Winnipeg
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