The Tyee – BC Liberal Email Adds Grease to Sliding Trust in News Media. But the way journalism gets made is too complex for simple conspiracy theories.
By Shannon Rupp.
For media watchers, the recent revelations published on The Tyee about the 2014 Mount Polley mine disaster, which came through a freedom of information request, also came with a bonus: the glimpse of an apparently cozy relationship between government, the energy industry, and then Global TV reporter, who is now a BC Liberal MLA.
The evidence lies in an internal email then-premier Christy Clark’s communications chief sent after news broke of the collapse of the Mount Polley tailings pond dam. Ben Chin refers casually to “Jas” seemingly giving them a “heads up.”
“He tells me the pictures at 6 will be very graphic. Imperial [Metals, the mining company] should get out in front,” Chin wrote. Jas almost certainly refers to Jas Johal, who so far has neither confirmed nor denied it’s him. We’ll never know if Johal’s personal sympathies had any impact on Global’s coverage of the Mount Polley disaster. My bet is they didn’t; but I’ve no doubt they’ll lose some viewers over it.
The public tends to believe the worst of corporate media (with some justification), so I’m calling this incident just another little nail in big media’s coffin. And that is bad news for everyone, but I’ll get to that later. Back to Chin’s email. The tone suggests that his BC Liberal colleagues take it for granted they have a Global TV reporter eager to help them.