Posts Tagged ‘partisan’

Kathleen Lévesque, a French Canadian journalist notably writing for the daily newspaper Le Devoir, is more of an activist than a journalist.

Lévesque does not bring facts to her readers, but feed them with her own perception and ideologies. A Union leader (for many years, Kathleen Lévesque headed the Journalists Union of Quebec),  her activism might impact her work?

The most disturbing point of Kathleen Lévesque work is that she perpetually confuses facts, gives approximative statements and does not check her facts. Actually, she deliberately writes ambiguous articles, challenging people’s honnesty and ethics. Is it journalism or smear campaigns?

Another thing shows Lévesque trash-journalism methods : the way she sets up her headlines. Regularly, she will add the word “scandal” to it… probably more catchy even if most of the time there’s no real scandals behind her work. 

But facts are not that easy to bend. Despite Levesque’s suspicion and smear campaigns, none of her so-called “scandals” have led to a judiciary action so far. Most of the time, behind her “scandals”, one can only find political stakes.

What she describes as “collusion” does not exist.  Her last “scoop” over a self-claimed corruption scandal at the Saint-Rémi City House is a new example on how her work is biased.

 Nobody buys her tricks anymore. Kathleen Lévesque lost any type of credibility with her abuse of “scandal-like” headlines. Sensationalism corrupted her facts.

No proofs. Partisanship. No counterpoint… This is not journalism. So why does Kathleen Lévesque works this way? Which interests is she working for?

A friend of mine recently posted on his Facebook page that he was identifying two candidates from each party of his choice in a distinct attempt at garnering support for candidates that he felt can do the country very good if they are elected to serve.

When told that as a journalist he should not engage in such campaign owing to what is regarded by many as our noble profession, he defended himself by firmly pointing out that “… I am a photographer and this is my country so I have a right to endorse whoever I want,” While this popular photographer/journalist whatever he wants to call himself (he interchanges the position to suit whatever point he is trying to make) wants to do he must understand that as a journalist the power of influence and command is significant as many persons from the public depend upon us so as to make vital and in many cases very critical life changing decisions.

However much more of a burning issue is the recent disclosure by very popular and veteran journalist Bibi Hodge Shaw’s demand on Facebook?? that journalists /of a leading newspaper in St Maarten cease immediately their bandwagon endorsements and soft story writing which as she said evidently demonstrates their political bias and affiliation. I have deliberately decided to follow the controversy as it is my opinion that no journalist while serving actively in the profession should:

  1. Be involved in such practice
  2. Should be allowed by his/her media house to do so if that media house wants to be seen as being independent.

The journalists and their newspaper which has been able through its hard working staff and good management to build a very reputable image within the North Eastern Caribbean must know that there are rules governing print journalism and reporting in general that ought to be followed I rush to point out that the particular media house must be very cognizant that the public is looking on and more and more is becoming aware of the unprofessional and unethical behavior of some members of its staff.

Jagdish P. Sukhu quoted from the Wikipedia online: “Journalism ethics and standards comprise principles of ethics and of good practice as applicable to the specific challenges faced by professional journalists. Historically and currently, this subset of media ethics is widely known to journalists as their code of ethics or the canons of journalism.”

This clearly demonstrates that the three journalists from their writings are hiding behind the cloud of freedom of speech to assert that they are doing no wrong by clearly on a regular and sustained bases writes article for three candidates that are contesting an election. Examining the writings I am very confident and certain that the three journalists are involved as over the years I have been able to ascertain their writing style and ability thus knowing that the candidates that they represent.

The United People’s party headed by Theo Heyliger, the National Alliance headed by William Marlin, the Democratic Party headed by Sarah Wescott Williams and the Concordia Political Alliance (CPA) headed by Jeffery Richardson are fiercely contesting for political office and while it is every journalist’s right to vote for, or to support whoever he or she wishes, there is a thin line that should be respected in terms of his or her public pronouncements, endorsement and political writings – especially if working for an independent media house.

The question that one has to ask – especially of the editor and management team – is in what capacity are these journalists employed as it is evident that some of them are mouthpieces for some of the political parties and their candidates.

I specifically ask this critically important question taking into consideration recent observations by several members of the public. The newspaper in the interest of preserving its own image and that of its reporters should explain why the Guyanese media couple (man and woman) that works there has been seen on a number of occasions entering and engaging in closed-door meetings of the UP.

The Guyanese couple referred to should publicly indicate whether they are working as journalists or as mouthpieces for the UP. To make this point much clearer recently when the UP held a closed-door meeting at the Westin Resort, the only media people allowed were this couple. Not even another media colleague who, very inappropriately chaired the UP launching was allowed to sit in at the meeting.

I also call on Theo Heyliger in the fairness of public disclosure, honesty and transparency to explain if he is engaging the services of a journalist while that journalist is performing journalistic duties full time for a local media house.

I must state that we must recognize that as journalists we should guide our lives by basic ethical principles which include principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality and public accountability. I stress that like many broader ethical systems, journalism ethics includes the principle of Limitation to harm. While I will not judge the esteemed newspaper I would state that if it is aware of the current situation and has not taken any action against the individuals who are causing it to lose its credibility and also causing the public to lose its high respect for journalists, in general, then I would say that the media house is acting irresponsibly. I am sure that the editor of this media house knows the destruction irresponsible journalism can cause.

In closing, I urge all media practitioners working with independent media houses to ensure that they pursue the truth and do not allow themselves to be used by any politician or by any special interest. Their conduct should be professional and beyond suspicion and their reporting should be fair, balanced, honest and accurate.