David Akin - January 18th, 2015
Those are my feet and the Brooks running shoes I paid for myself — all of which I hope to put to good use as a “Celebrity Ambassador” running in a 10K run to be held this spring in Ottawa.
Last week, I got a request to help an Ottawa-based charitable organization by being one of several ‘celebrity ambassadors’ for an event they’ll have in the spring. The event is a 10K run. The organizers asked me to raise awareness about the event through my Twitter account, Facebook page, and this blog. There was no “ask” to mention the event in any newspaper copy or on my television program. The event’s sponsors include a national sporting goods retailer and a sporting goods manufacturer. Event Ambassadors are offered the chance to get a new pair of running shoes, a new pair shorts and socks, and a shirt from this manufacturer. There was no request to endorse either the retailer or the manufacturer.
So, given Leslie Roberts, Amanda Lang, etc. I asked my Facebook followers if they would think worse of me as a journalist if I accepted the job of “celebrity ambassador” and took the shoes, shorts, and shirt.
I was floored at the number and quality of responses.
David Akin - November 1st, 2014
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister John Baird to his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, on October 28, 2014, as the Secretary visited to pay condolences following last week’s attacks and for a series of bilateral meetings. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]
This Sunday, we will mark the first ever International Day To End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, an initiative of the UN General Assembly
. This is a good idea. But I would say that. I’m a journalist. Who once had thugs hired by Egypt’s secret police put a machete to my chest and the chest of my TVA cameraman. It all turned out Ok for the two of us but for way, way, way too many journalists around the world, bad things happen.
Now, I’ve got some issues with the way U.S. President Barack Obama tries to control the press, eavesdrop on the press, and otherwise work hard to interfere with the work of reporters in his capital. That said, I’m very happy to see this statement from his Secretary of State John Kerry. (Haven’t seen anything similar from any Canadian official) Read more…
David Akin - October 20th, 2014
Your correspondent, working hard to pay his bills, by reporting from the Elysée Palace in Paris, France in 2013.
If you are reading this blog and you scroll down the column on the right side, you will see a section titled “Disclosure and Fine Print”. I believe it is important for journalists to be upfront with their readers and viewers about potential blind spots or potential conflicts of interest. In my experience — working in the newsrooms of Global National, Postmedia, CTV National News, The Globe and Mail, National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and, now, Sun Media – those who report the news are not setting out to seek an angle that will benefit them or their pals.
So even though there’s never been (so far as I know) some scandal where a Canadian journalist was abusing his or her position to feather his or her nest, I’ve had this “disclosure” statement at my blog for years now.
But because income splitting looks to be a potential significant issue in the upcoming 2015 general election campaign, I feel that I should be upfront with readers and viewers and provide this additional disclosure. Read more…
David Akin - October 9th, 2014
Earlier today, the 300 or so members of Canada’s Parliamentary Press Gallery received the following notice in their e-mail inboxes:
CANADIAN COPYRIGHT LAWS
October 9, 2014
The Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery is troubled by reports the government is considering an exception to Canadian copyright laws that would give parties free reign in using news content for political advertisements.
Journalists report facts and balance them with context to ensure their stories are fair. Political ads, particularly during election campaigns, are by nature one-sided. Giving political parties the ability to selectively use news stories runs counter to the neutrality we strive to provide to Canadians every day.
The proposal is not yet formal. We await further details.
President, Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery
As a member of the Gallery (and a former member of its board of directors), I believe it is a premature to be issuing a statement. Here’s why: Read more…