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peter clarke

CEO,

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Enforcing and legislating media ethics in reporting and journalism

Citizen Protection from Anonymous Media Sources based on Gossip, Hearsay or Allegations Required.

Recently media corporations, such as the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and Gawker blog, with their editorials, reporting and story journalism being based on gossip, hearsay and anonymous dubious sources that cannot be independently legally verifiable and would not be judicially acceptable in our courts of law, in my opinion, have adequately shown the media must be reigned in and clamped down on by legislation for such muckraking at the direct expense of any individuals citizen’s character and that of the family, spouse and children.

Mob rule public opinion guilt spread through muckraking bulling editorials and journalistic news making stories or gossip blogs are neither reliable, relevant or permitted evidence in issues before the courts. Such unproven allegations should NOT be allowed “to go to press” in public or private news print media.

Such legislation must be enacted to protect the personal reputations of all Canadian individuals, their spouse, family and children from media corporations rush to judgment and opinions based on allegations from scurrilous anonymous sources of gossip; hearsay and theory as offered up as editorial opinions and journalistic stories.

The personal reputation of every Canadian from whatever province they reside or make their living must be shielded from story generated journalism and reporters acting like legally constituted police investigator or officers of our judicial system which they are not.
“guilt or innocence is NOT based on rumor, speculation or reputation. An accused is not tried” (in the media, courts or public opinion)” based on what he/she may have done before” rather “ the evidence related to the matter in issue.”

In my opinion, unprofessional editorials and journalistic stories lately about Mayor Ford have forgone any sense of professionalism or basic human decency.

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    Jun 9 2013: There is no neutral medium in this world,though being neutral is the foundation of reporting and journalism. In China,no freedom of press,government manipulates the news and propaganda.In the west, oligarchy or tycoon manipulates public sensation under the protection of freedom of press.
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      Jun 9 2013: Well stated Jaden, as neutrality used to be a core foundation within the western educational system that has unfortunately been taken over and replace by a unionized profession based system of teachers and professors with their collective positions for teachings based on political ideologies of the philosophies for communism/socialism versus capitalism! Keep in mind these professional unionized educators collective and personal desire for tenure, salaries, benefits and pensions all at the direct expense of students future lifetime earnings.

      And now those graduating from so called schools of journalism have deteriorated to simply writing stories or slanting news reporters in a way that supports their corporate media employer’s biased endorsed political party’s position on all issues regardless of any factual neutrality.
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        Jun 9 2013: Legislation might be a constructive step toward neutral media. But it is apparent that enormous publications around a country,full law-enforcement seem impossible.First,it is complicated and difficult to prove a news is a rumor or fact.Second,hard to find neutral and authorized organizations being specifically designated to investigate news.Third,some media are under the protection of government or political party.

        Thus many times,after a newspaper's false news being disclosed,they would only offer an apology,no further legal punishment. But the harm had been done,there is hardly reverse.
  • Jun 8 2013: In the USA, we have laws against libel and slander that let the injured party sue for damages.

    These laws provide for the most egregious cases but are not effective in enforcing journalistic ethics and standards. They fit into a legal and cultural tradition of 'let the buyer be ware'.

    The best deterrent to bad journalism is to expose it, and damage the reputation of the producer. It is not really the story that does the damage, but the response of the consumers. If everyone ignores the bad producer, there will be no effect.

    Personally, I have little confidence in any media.
  • Jun 7 2013: Sometimes this is the first step to reveal the truth, however. What if an anonymous source is right, but there isn't any actual evidence at this point, and this person telling others could lead to evidence?

    If someone has false accusations thrown their way, would this not be negated by the reputation they have built for themselves, as well as their rapport with others, provided they are strong in character?
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    Jun 6 2013: Isaac, thanks for your comment and thoughts.

    For me, when it involves the media it remains unprofessional reporting or journalism to go to press with unverifiable stories of allegations based solely on their unidentified anonymous sources related to gossip and hearsay.

    How would it possibly for any individual to research further into a story matter that had been unverifiable by the news corporation itself and was based purely on gossip and hearsay allegations by anonymous sources unknown to the public?

    In a honest democracy an individuals reputation must never be based on speculation by gossip or rumor and neither on what an individual have done before but only on the factual and verifiable evidence related to the matter or story at issue, in my humble opinion as a mere mortal.

    Enjoy the coming weekend and stay active and healthy.
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    Jun 6 2013: The quality of supervision or monitoring is everything, If there is fairness & truth in transparent reporting, it may help society in the long run. Activists can be useful people to maintain checks and balances. Yellow Journalism stinks & should be squashed
  • Jun 6 2013: Is it really that big of a problem?
  • Jun 6 2013: I disagree wholeheartedly. People lie. That is the way the world works. Sometimes they lie unintentionally. Perhaps they truly believe what they say is the truth. Why should you, or anyone else, have any right to censor what they say? It is the individual's choice to believe what they read, and they have full capability of doing further research into the matter, etc, either proving or disproving the claims.
  • Jun 6 2013: Best of luck. It would be very neat if Canada could lead in that regard. America is an absolute mess of misperception, manipulation, sensationalist mongering for commercial and political gain. Unfortunately mass media have always been commercially underpinned and that has unfairly and IMO dysfunctionally misled people as to what is "relevant history". As an aspiring agent of change it has occurred to me that the commercial mass media are impotent in covering "progress dynamics". Very little connects with anything else--everything is a daily chosen smorgasbord of generalities which favor the sensational and salacious. It gives people "stuff" to gossip about but fails miserably at being of value in facilitating comprehension or revealing how regular people can participate in democracy. I had the idea about five years before the Internet came on the scene in 1995 to try to create a new kind of digital journalism that would kick out commercialism and sensationalism and cede all of that junk to the existing media who already have it well industrialized. I saw "digital" content, then only on CD-ROM, as something that should tackle progress and be both a source of "intelligence" and a conduit facilitator which would be subscription based so that the value was entirely focused on the person buying the publication. But as a struggling entrepreneur one must realize you have to limit yourself to so that you don't over-reach and fall on your face. To me the UN's effort to replace the Cold War operating principle with something constructive that applied preventive medicine, if you will, to conflict by seeking to advance sustainable development was the world's most important progress initiative ca 1990 and If I were to just cover that one story in a cyclical digital periodical I could help the movement accelerate. I had no idea however how badly my own country, USA, would trash this moment and tag "Agenda 21" as some "one world government" conspiracy. Shame. Lead us, please.