The gallery and the politicians: an Inkless bleg

Folks: on Oct. 29 I’m going to be addressing students at the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs, at York University. I’ll be speaking in general about the quality of political reporting in this country. I’ll be saying, in general, that when politicians complain about political journalism, they sometimes have a point and sometimes not. And to the extent they have a point — that the depth, seriousness, level of understanding that reporters bring to bear isn’t up to what you might hope — I’ll be pointing out that there are broad, systemic reasons that explain some of this. Collapsing newsroom budgets, shrinking staffs, exploding newsholes and so on.

Anyway, the folks at Glendon have asked whether there’s anything I’d like the students to read or watch before they hear from me. One of the great things about Glendon is that the students are bilingual, so I’ll be sending a chapter from Allan Levine’s underappreciated book Scrum Wars: The Prime Ministers and the Media, and if I could I’d urge them all to watch Jean-Claude Lebrecque’s fascinating documentary À Hauteur d’Homme, which followed Bernard Landry’s losing campaign in 2003 and presents, in excruciating detail, the unlovely spectacle of a press bus full of reporters who smell a loser. (Can’t find a clip online, but here’s a bunch of Radio-Canada radio coverage from around the release.)

But over to you: Do you know an article, analysis, video clip, radio debate, blog post, or other bit of media, in either official language, that captures or illustrates the assorted debates about how well we do our jobs? One senses, reading the comments around here, that many of you have strong opinions on these matters. I’m not going to be able to take all your suggestions but I’d be curious to see them and grateful for your contributions. Thanks.

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