Professional Journalism In Canada

Professional Journalism In Canada

Journalism has shifted from Venice’s “written notices” and the businessman-backed handwritten chronicles of Germany to the subsequent newspaper and radio boom of the 19th century. One consistent feature among the different stages and advancements was mankind’s drive to broadcast information faster and more trustworthy. The stopover into the public space means that journalists are no longer accountable to just a selected elite as it were. As the call for social responsibility was going up, the need for professionalism and legitimacy intensified. So, to remain relevant to the tenets of society, there was an urgent need to draft and follow a guide or code of conduct. 

Canadian Walk To Freedom — A Journalist’s Perspective 

Specifically, the walk towards professional journalism in Canada was initially met with opposition. As history shows, various parts of the country were fed with information from the government. A newspaper publisher could be convicted for criticizing the government of the day. Going against a government official in the mid-1700s was viewed as seditious libel. After observing how the wave of revolution was sweeping through other developing countries and how the freedom of the press was the accepted vehicle of distributing information, questions began to be asked. Joseph Howe, a newspaper owner (the NOVASCOTIAN), was vocal through his paper on how some policies and those who spearhead them were not on the lookout for the good of the common man. He was, as a result, sent to prison for criminal libel. Even though he was guilty, the jury questioned whether he published those libelous statements. During the trial, Howe provided undaunted proof that was enough to help him regain his freedom. The basis for his release paved the way for legitimate and professional journalism in Canada.

Present-Day Advancements And What The Future Holds

In the late 20th century, well-known Canadian journalists who ardently follow the footsteps of legendary way-makers like Joseph Howe are perplexed by the modern way of disseminating information. This astonishment doesn’t apply to innovative folks like Nick Gamache CBC. To them, the bar has been lowered through the invention of social media and blogging. The general public that once queued to get the latest edition of the weekly “Gazettes”, have moved to this novel way of getting informed. To hold tight to their audience, top journalists are often invited as guest writers to blog sites. The few printed magazines and newspapers have somehow returned to the hands of the elites. While concerns are building up regarding the institution built so far in the sphere of journalism, it is worth taking that, just like everything else, advancement and changes are bound to happen, not in Canada alone but the whole world. The readiness of modern-day journalists to encompass the values of people like Kit Coleman, Pierre BÉDARD, and recently Nick Gamache journalist into their works — either on a tiny desk with a screen in their front, or the almost extinct way of getting raw information from always anonymous sources in the field. Those remain even more valid now to ensure a professional and ethical standard of journalism in Canada.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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