I found it interesting that I saw this quote about journalism conferences as I was gathering links for a post about a journalism conference in Montreal.
I like hearing people talk about the trade, and giving insight. And considering what I do, it would be ridiculous to argue that I don’t like navel-gazing about journalism. But I’ve never been a big fan of big academic-style conferences, particularly those that cost hundreds of dollars to attend.
There’s one such conference this weekend, called the Journalism Strategies Conference. It runs Thursday to Saturday. Unfortunately I’m working during much of it so I won’t be able to attend.
But I will be there for a free event on Thursday night, a panel discussion whose lineup is sure to make things interesting:
- Tony Burman, the former CBC News head who left for Al Jazeera English (he’s since returned to Canada, and is at Ryerson University now)
- Dominique Payette, the professor who penned the report on the future of journalism in Quebec, which called for the establishment of the status of professional journalist
- Kai Nagata, former CBC and CTV TV journalist who quit his job and burned his bridges and is now free to speak his mind without the burden of earning money
- Judy Rebick, the founding publisher of rabble.ca
Just the thought of Payette and Nagata getting into a debate about professional journalism might be worth the price of entry. Which is, you know, free.
The discussion, moderated by Daybreak host Mike Finnerty, begins at 7pm at Concordia’s DB Clarke Theatre (underneath the lobby of the Hall Building at 1455 de Maisonneuve W., corner Mackay). The Facebook event page is here.
There’s another free event Friday at 6pm at the McGill faculty club, with invited guests from abroad.
Two organizers of the conference, Christine Crowther and Lisa Lynch, appeared on CINQ-FM’s Digital Life Show last weekend to talk about it. You can download the podcast on their website.
I caught most of it Thursday night. Nothing I heard surprised me considering who was on the panel. The problem is that a large portion of academia are totally disconnected from the views of ordinary people. These people believe in endless and meaningless discussions where they can point out how smart they are and how dumb the rest of us ordinary folk are!
Coming back to the whole Sun News argument, the left would like it shut down and that includes the academics. You may not like Stephen Harper or his policies, nor the Conservative party, but their values are actually shared by a great many Canadians, especially out west who have been almost totally ignored by the left-leaning national media. I do not say that to take sides in any political issue, but to point out something that should be fairly obvious.
This panel was nothing more than a bash the right party. It would have been nice to see them invite someone to the table with a contradictory set of opinions. I think that they would probably be heckled off the stage, such is the state of free speech in our insitutions of higher learning in 2012. Yeah we support freedom of speech as long is it goes along with our ideas, otherwise we must not allow people to speak or be heard.