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How does the media view the CAF?

JLB50

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I must confess to being a bit of a news junkie, reading a number of newspapers, going online and tuning into the broadcast media, usually on a daily basis. Over the years, especially recently, the focus seems to have been on some of the most negative elements of the CAF, such as sexual harassment, procurement boondoggles and the overall sad state of affairs of the forces. It seems to me, overall, that the CAF are basically “the bad news guys” and that the media does not present them in a very favourable light. I also think that the media is turning a blind eye to the seriousness of world events and perhaps think that Canada is too insignificant a country. But, hey, that’s just my own opinion.

I’ve read quite a number of descriptions or definitions of what a journalist should be or do. One source says broadly that a journalist should “provide citizens with the information they need to be free and self-governing”. And then there’s one long-standing description of a journalist being one who “comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable”. Aside from what a journalist is expected to do, many reporters have an inherent left-or-right-of-centre bias. On top of that the media that they work for may have layers of reporting bureaucracy to go through before a story ever sees the light of day, with sometimes various levels of editors one must go through. As a result, a particular news item often gets watered down, overblown or even killed.

Having said all that (although there’s probably a lot more that should be said), based on what you have read, seen or heard on the media, do you think there is something that the media is excluding or missing in a big way? This is certainly a huge topic and maybe not even something that one can really answer. But I do think it would be worth seeing if there’s a commonality here about how the CAF should be seen. In other words, if you could be quoted by the media, what would you say? I now hand the microphone over to you.

 
Canadian media towards the CAF from what I have seen

1. Always focusing on procurement / equipment / recruitment issues (negative)
2. Scandals are front and center when there are plenty of other scandals within other levels of government (negative)
3. Remembrance Day will showcase some bagpipes and veterans but very rarely anything else (positive)
4. Afghanistan / more recent missions get almost ZERO coverage (neutral)
5. Never do we see the coverage like we did in the 1990s, "a tour of", "a day in the life of", etc (neutral)
6. There is never any detailed coverage about Canada's role in world events, of which Canada has a huge role. I also don't understand why.

Regarding point 6, I'm not sure if CAF itself maintains good relations with media outlets in order to promote itself. I see specific branches, departments, etc having some photos on twitter, however I don't know if they actively work with media outlets. Also, I am aware that in certain countries, militaries actually pay for media to fly with them overseas on conferences, embed work, etc. I am not sure if CAF does this.

Anyways, a bit all over the place here but just posting my thoughts, great topic for discussion btw.
 
The media sell what people want. Canadians don't particularly care about the CAF, so media focuses on what sells.

There may be an individual bias within the media personalities, but I don't think there is an institutional bias against us.

Part of the lack of "day in the life of" stories is the lack of reporters. Back in the 80s and 90s media organizations had staff reporters all across the country, so occasionally they'd be bored and do a day on a base. These days the media organizations have far fewer staff reporters and rely on freelancers, freelancers who know "day in the life of" stories don't sell well, so they don't do them.
 
Modern journalism, apart from repeating a biased narrative set by someone else appears to be largely a matter of reprinting or repeating Reuters or AP articles. There is no digging for facts, not even to slot them into a predefined world view. They're like the slow-moving dunderheads working at McDonalds...going thru the motions, thinking that what they are doing is working, completely unable of understanding why their customers are becoming apoplectic.

Oh, I'm fun in the coffee shop.
 
Having a beer with a guy I know that used to write for Bloomberg and now does interviews with Executives. He utterly despises Journalists of today. He pointed out an interesting thing, back in the day most Journalists were working class, now the majority are from rich/upper middle class and university educated. This limits and twists their viewpoint.
 
Having a beer with a guy I know that used to write for Bloomberg and now does interviews with Executives. He utterly despises Journalists of today. He pointed out an interesting thing, back in the day most Journalists were working class, now the majority are from rich/upper middle class and university educated. This limits and twists their viewpoint.
The fine folks at The Line have expressed a similar sentiment.

Journalism has gone from local to "elite" in my lifetime.

Journalistts are removed from the people they are reporting on, and have different values. It explains much of the current distrust of media we see today... Downtown Toronto University grads who all go to the same bars/restaurants share beliefs and values different from people in Coburg, Pierceland, and Murray Harbour.
 
Never do we see the coverage like we did in the 1990s, "a tour of", "a day in the life of", etc (neutral)
I think that has been replaced by social media.

The younger generation aren’t looking to the G&M or CBC for that sort of stuff. They’re going to Insta, etc.

The US goes hard on social media (all platforms) to connect with the audience. I haven’t seen the same with the CAF.
 
The media sell what people want.
An interesting phrase, because it is only partly true. Increasingly, I perceive that media try to sell what they want - the viewpoints of the people who write and present the material. Also increasingly, the numbers of people approximately sharing a collection of viewpoints tends to reach a critical mass at which dissenters are induced or forced to leave and the bias becomes monolithic. Many of the non-traditional (recent) entries into the market have that form from their outset.

So increasingly, people have a choice between "news" that tells them what they want to hear, and "news" that sets their teeth on edge. Not many people have the patience for the latter, much less a willingness to pay to read it. Thus fragmentation, and reduction of market share. The only way to get more market share is to step outside the comfort zone to compete for it; but stepping outside the comfort zone is impossible if the newsroom has been captured by ideologues.
 
... Journalistts are removed from the people they are reporting on, and have different values. It explains much of the current distrust of media we see today... Downtown Toronto University grads who all go to the same bars/restaurants share beliefs and values different from people in Coburg, Pierceland, and Murray Harbour.
Also due, in part, to a LOT less on-the-ground journalism going on in the Coburgs, Piercelands, and Murray Harbours of the country. This 1) reduces the amount of news content people see/read/hear from their own backyard, produced by people living in said backyard, 2) reduces the odds of major centre news hubs even getting news from these areas, and 3) reduces the opportunities for just-out-of-school journos to be exposed to what is news and what is important to people outside of the larger urban areas where news hubs tend to be based.
 
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Canadian media towards the CAF from what I have seen

1. Always focusing on procurement / equipment / recruitment issues (negative)
2. Scandals are front and center when there are plenty of other scandals within other levels of government (negative)
3. Remembrance Day will showcase some bagpipes and veterans but very rarely anything else (positive)
4. Afghanistan / more recent missions get almost ZERO coverage (neutral)
5. Never do we see the coverage like we did in the 1990s, "a tour of", "a day in the life of", etc (neutral)
6. There is never any detailed coverage about Canada's role in world events, of which Canada has a huge role. I also don't understand why.

Regarding point 6, I'm not sure if CAF itself maintains good relations with media outlets in order to promote itself. I see specific branches, departments, etc having some photos on twitter, however I don't know if they actively work with media outlets. Also, I am aware that in certain countries, militaries actually pay for media to fly with them overseas on conferences, embed work, etc. I am not sure if CAF does this.

Anyways, a bit all over the place here but just posting my thoughts, great topic for discussion btw.
You've clearly never read the poem Tommy by Rudyard Kipling.
 
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