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LETTER: Journalists have a job to do, too

- Contributed

I was disappointed but not surprised by the mini-storm of self-righteous criticism surrounding Anthony Germain’s recent attempt to gain information from our government about a matter of public interest and concern.

During a media career that spanned nearly five decades I, like probably every journalist before and since, was told hundreds, maybe thousands, of times that I was not doing my job properly — notably by people who had no training or experience in journalism.

Anthony Germain doesn’t need me or anyone else to defend him. He is obviously more than capable.

But it should perhaps be noted that before asking a perfectly reasonable question on a topic of public concern he waited until all other questions at the news conference had been asked and answered.

That the news conference was initially about the COVID-19 virus is irrelevant. It is, after all, not the only news story in the world.

The ongoing trend of the current government to lurch from scandal to scandal has not been diminished by COVID-19 and questionable behaviour by an elected person is of no less concern now than it has ever been.

Instead of castigating Germain for asking a legitimate question, how about castigating government for saying that only questions about the virus will be answered at future news conferences?

A pandemic, as serious as it may be, does not mean professional journalists should be prevented from pursuing other equally legitimate news stories. From a government that has a long history of doing its level best to hide any and all political missteps, I guess nothing better can be expected.

The public has every right to know if its elected representatives are falling short in their duties, a function that professional journalists perform admirably, and the public should be, if not outraged, at least supportive of those who strive to find and report the news accurately and without bias on a daily basis.

Gary Hebbard
St. John's


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