Christie Blatchford on How Media Treat Sources

Remember this?

On How Reporters Treat Material from PMO, Taliban

A big hat tip to Mark Collins at The Torch for spotting this tidbit in Christie Blatchford’s latest on the death of reporter Michelle Lang in Afghanistan (emphasis mine):

…. The Canadian Forces are not slick manipulators of truth – rather the opposite, I say politely – and the mere fact of its embedding program, where reporters are invited to live and work alongside soldiers and are subject in my experience to almost zero interference or censorship, alone should speak to that.

And the Taliban, however simple or uneducated its lowest-ranking members may be, are adept at the most basic propaganda; they know very well that the shortest route to sap the will of countries like Canada and Britain is a rising casualty toll. Canadian soldiers who speak to the press are named and accountable for their remarks, both to their superiors and to the public; but for a few top leaders, Taliban and supporters are interviewed anonymously, through interpreters and sometimes fixers, and are usually photographed with covered faces.

It is an odd commentary upon the world we live in that a named and identified Canadian general is often viewed in this country with more suspicion than a masked thug with an AK at his side, yet precisely that view persists in newsrooms and journalism schools both ….

Amen, Christie, and thanks again Mark.

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