Anna Maria Tremonti at UofR – Liveblog

About to start liveblogging the #uofr Minifie Lecture with Anna Maria Tremonti of CBC.
7:37 Mitch gives introduction.

7:40 This is my first attempt to liveblog using an iPad. It is too bright for the dark lecture theatre.
Dr. Kleer now giving introduction. The Current goes back to 2002.

7:47 mentioned the bitter cold today, and listener who sends her pronunciation criticisms.
There’s a lot of barriers to entry to journalism now. She urges inspiring journalists to go for it.
Technological change happening at “warp speed”.

Twitter and the rest are mentioned.
The “death” of Gordon Lightfoot. The faked research regarding vaccination. Flawed news spreads just as quickly as real news.

“When you can’t get there, the technology can transport you.”

Iranian journalists often find more freedom once they leave their country.

7:53 she hasn’t said the word “bloggers” yet, despite talking about what they do lots.

8:00 in the mid 80’s teletype was still common. When she covered Bosnia, there were snipers, and folding satellite dishes to aim out a window, pushed to it on a table.
She slept in a bathroom in a room with bullet holes, until she realized the sink could fall on her, so she went back to bed.

Comprehensive stories still need journalists on the ground at the scene.

NYT recently covered Stuxnet worm. She mentioned a WikiLeaks cable that gave journalists a clue about the source of the worm.
“Contrast that coverage with the coverage of WikiLeaks”, she’ll get back to WikiLeaks later.

8:07 she said pigeon soup is way too fatty for her to enjoy it. If you cover from afar, you don’t get pigeon soup, or the way local people think of a story.

She’s imploring journalists to push back against their bosses, and not do vapid stories. Don’t stand in the same spot each hour, saying the same thing, because you look silly. Find a new way to say it, or stand in a different spot. Suggest that leading a broadcast with a story that has not yet happened is not the best idea for a lead story.

In covering a war, she was in a truck with care packages for the enemy side where the truck came from. Neighbours had been divided by war.

Very serious work to do in journalism. “We have a problem with accountability in this country.”

8:16 The PMO may or may not return calls for those asking them questions, they set the communication schedule.

Everybody gets excited about a new iPad, but it turns into a news story!?
“Oil sands” instead of “Tar sands”. You can’t pretend that the environmentalists have a “side” that gets a billion in subsidies like oil industry gets.
Ethical Oil? Do Canadian companies drilling in “unethical” countries, become unethical oil companies here too? The questions are not being asked.

8:24 Minifie wasn’t a coward. Today, what are journalists afraid of, this is a democracy, it’s Canada!? Journalists cower in front of politicians here.

Minifie covered Sputnik launch, and said the Whitehouse was surprised and had no comment. American scientists were excited that satellites were possible, but couldn’t admit it publicly because there was the cold war.

Citizen journalists: tell your own story. Don’t be dismissive of them. Remember Paul Pritchard’s taser video in B.C. Exposed contradictions in RCMP testimony.
Ensure power is not abused.

G20 police coverage is in contrast to recent outpouring of support around police funeral in Toronto.

Don’t let fellow journalists shoot you down. She faces attacks for talking about Climate Change.
Michael Hastings and General McCrystal at odds with his superior.

She is stunned that some journalists have taken on the role of US government censor. Attempts have been made to find people hurt by the Leaks, and nothing substantive has been found. The leaks are not IEDs.

The leaks have given us important insight to the world’s superpower.

Should journalists protect the US government?
*applause again. Before for oilsands point.

If our soldiers are being war criminals, journalists are not at fault for reporting it. Colvin is not at fault. Troop leaders are at fault.

Would Harper want his son to be a soldier? NHL preferred.

Maybe the numbers have dropped because the audience doesn’t want vapid stories?

Women in journalism don’t have to get off the air now just because they’ve reached a certain old age.

8:45 wrapped up. She vows to help those willing to fight for their journalism, to take it back.

8:47 I asked the first question, could anything be done to give Wikileaks more coverage. Most people may not know that Clinton ordered ambassadors to spy.

She said the problem is that there is so much to cover, it will take some time, and this info will make it into documentaries and future coverage.

Ahmed has next question. Has CBC gone more right wing?
She says there’ve been cuts.

Yens Petersen next, asking about the business model of news.
She’s concerned about cutbacks.

She was at gathering in Toronto for Icelandic woman tied to Wikileaks, (Bridgit?)

Fluff costs the same as real news, you pay the people the same in the day when they are at work.
More is going online, there are fewer ads sold.

– when access is denied to politicians, how can media fight back?
They keep count and announce the totals of denials.

Benoit Bouchard, never said no to an interview, even with a struggling second language.
An elected official should be able to explain or defend their position.

11 year old asking when AMT wanted to be a journalist.
Not until university when she joined the student paper. Until then she wanted to be a play write, and thought journalists were writers who couldn’t make it (crowd roars in laughter).

– next question, do international stories need local spin?
Cover local immigrants even when their home countries are not the subject of the interview.

– Left and Right labels are not good.
She didn’t get into journalism for the money.
And influence comes from being behind a microphone.

– the male voice on the intro is written by the producers. Deliberately not her voice. Sometimes Winnipeg Content Factory weighs in.
The Voice is an actor, Steven Heart, a tall guy, who never misses a day.

Barbara Woolsey asks about being a female journalist who wants a family and strong career. Tremonti isn’t married now, and has no children.
Many journalists don’t cover wars once they have kids.

– Man from The Pas, on welfare, reading the WFPress, a man was beaten by police. Some journalists against the man beaten because of his lifestyle, or race even.

She thinks journalists need to be careful because of their influence.

– most difficult stories? Lash back?

Worse is the emotional toll, of sad stories, not the lash back.

Be a little bit scared in a war. Understand stories are important.

– Has AMT’s opinion shifted on Israel,Palestine since 1991 when she started covering it?
She has better understanding. It’s more frustrating, “Herre we go again.”
Its not coming to a peaceful resolution.

How does she cope when returning from a war zone.

Write out what you see and feel. Can’t ignore the wars. PTSD happens to some.

It’s over.

9 responses to “Anna Maria Tremonti at UofR – Liveblog

  1. Ahmed has next question. Has CBC gone more right wing?
    She says there’ve been cuts.
    doesn’t seem like an answer to the question, can you elaborate?

    • I didn’t elaborate, you’re right. Usually this is because I’m getting behind in my notes, not that the speaker didn’t answer.
      He asked if coverage was more right wing in now favouring Israel in coverage, and she didn’t really say, but did mention that with cuts there are fewer reporters able to be in the area to give an accurate picture. At least that’s what I got out of her answer.

  2. was anyone recording the talk? i asked the U of R journalism peope about this once, but it’s never been done. it’s a prime example of something that should be streamed live, or at least, be recorded and offered as a vodcast.

    • You’re right, it should be on Ustream, but there were about 2 big cameras there at the back, so someone has it on film. I should have downloaded something for my iPad so I could have recorded it with something like Sound Note.

  3. Suggest that leading a broadcast with a story that has not yet happened is not the best idea for a lead story.
    i presume this means that don’t do a story on 6pm news about a speech that going to be given at 10pm and the story is written from the speech notes that the speaker has already given to the reporter, right?

    • Basically, yes.

      “Mr. X is about to have his sentence handed down. So instead of leading with the next biggest story, we’re telling you in front of the courthouse that we don’t know jack poop yet. Back to you Manfred.”

  4. Pingback: Media Failing Left Right and Center « Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff

  5. Pingback: The Fourth Estate – Not a CBC TV Show « Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff

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