CCEPA/University of Kings College
Trust in the Media (Roundtable)
Date: February 9, 2006
Time: 7:30-9:00 PM
Location: Alumni Hall, University of Kings College
(6350 Coburg Road, Academic Building)
As a society, we invest journalists with great responsibility. They are holders of a great public trust. Their importance in a democracy is pervasive and undeniable.
Journalism is part of the fundamental democratic process in which journalists provide citizens with the fair, balanced and accurate information they need to act responsibly in a democracy. Indeed, “No real democracy can function without healthy, diverse and independent news media to inform people about the way their society works, what is going well and, perhaps more important, what is not going well or needs to be improved.” (The Senate of Canada, “Interim Report on the Canadian News Media” (Ottawa, 2004), p.1.)
Unfortunately, there appears to be public concern about what is reported in the news:
- a widespread lack of trust in what journalists report;
- a belief that media outlets do not put the public interest first; and
- a concern that the media appear to focus on sensation rather than on substantive issues.
Indeed, the issue is so pervasive that – at a time when we need a strong, diverse media - people are tuning out and turning to blogs and citizen journalism to get their information and form their opinions about public policy.
Questions to be Explored: The session will explore the issues of why trust in journalism is so low:
- Why is our trust of journalists so low?
- What are the major factors that caused this to happen?
- To what extent does the system create or influence the problem?
- Can we expect the situation to change?
The Panel: The Moderator is Trudie Richards, Chair, Department of Public Relations, Mount Saint Vincent University; and three Panelists: Don Newman, CBC’s Senior Parliamentary Editor, host of CBC Newsworld’s daily program in politics and chief political and special events broadcaster for CBC Newsworld; Jim Meek, Editor of the Inside Out Report; and, Kate Raynes-Goldie, Website Editor and Community Manager, Telecentre.org, TakingitGlobal.