Media relations

The reporters travelling with Mr. Harper’s campaign used some of their few questions today to ask Mr. Harper why he permits so few questions. Mr. Harper typically takes five questions each day: four from the reporters travelling with him, one from a local reporter. For the sake of comparison, Jack Layton took 22 questions by my count this morning. My notes for Mr. Ignatieff’s media availability in Montreal four days ago list 13 questions.

For a number of reasons, disputes between politicians and journalists are rather fraught and problematic. In this case, Conservative Senator Michael MacDonald is siding with the the man who appointed him to the Senate. One of the reporters named by Sen. MacDonald is defending her profession.

But regardless of profession, partisan affiliation or distrust for either journalism or politics, perhaps we could agree that, as an objective observer of Canadian politics once observed, “Canadians’ freedom is enhanced when journalists are free to pursue the truth, to shine light into dark corners, and to assist the process of holding governments accountable.”

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